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The left side of the Jets’ offensive line is where George Fant wants to be for the long haul.
Fant is fresh off one of the best seasons of his career after sliding from right to left tackle in place of the injured Mekhi Becton. Fant is essentially locked in as a starter for New York entering 2022 after undergoing a knee scope at the end of last season. His future with the team beyond next season is not guaranteed, though, as he is entering the final year of a three-year contract he signed as a free agent in 2019.
Fant said Wednesday that his agent has had “some conversations” with the Jets regarding a contract extension. The 29-year-old also made it clear that he prefers to play left tackle over right tackle, but will line up wherever New York needs him as Becton inches closer to a return.
“Obviously, I’d like to have one spot and stick with it,” Fant said. “I feel like I’m a natural left tackle. I’m more natural on the left side. I’m going to do all in my power to stay there, but I can control what I can control. I’ll do everything I can. I’ll do all I can, but I can’t worry about it too much.”
Further complicating Fant’s immediate and long-term future with the Jets is the prospect of Joe Douglas selecting an offensive lineman early in the 2022 NFL draft Thursday night. New York has been linked to NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal, both of whom play tackle. If Douglas picks one of the two, it could create a conundrum regarding who plays where in the trenches in 2022.
It could also call into question Fant’s place in the team’s future plans with two young and promising tackles in the mix.
“I control what I can control,” Fant said. “My job isn’t to worry about who we draft.”
Fant went on to add that he feels the Jets’ offensive line is “most definitely” good enough to win as currently constructed, citing the addition of Laken Tomlinson via free agency as a major boost to the unit.
“That line looks legit all the way across,” Fant said.
It remains to be seen if a deal that will keep Fant with the Jets comes to fruition either this offseason or next, but the Big Apple is the place the veteran wants to be until it’s time for him to hang up his cleats.
“I want to be here for the rest of my career,” he said.