When the Jets signed George Fant to a three-year deal this offseason, the assumption was that he would likely slide into the starting left tackle spot for Gang Green.
A small amount of uncertainty was added to the starting left tackle job when the Jets used the 11th overall pick to take Louisville's Mekhi Becton, a player the team likely views as their left tackle of the future.
But on a video conference call with members of the media on Thursday, Fant explained he left Seattle to be able to play left tackle and he'd feel comfortable as the starter on Sam Darnold's blindside, though he's versatile enough to play the right side if that's what the team decides.
"That was my thing, leaving Seattle I wanted to play left tackle. I feel really comfortable at the position. I think that's where I offer the best abilities and (I'm) able to help the team the most," Fant said. "I will say this: I'm versatile. I can play both sides. I played the the right tackle side as well and do a pretty good job at that side as well, so I'm just right now ready for the opportunity to go out there and start …
"I'm just excited to get there and just play, so it's not about the position, it's about getting on the field."
After selecting Becton, the 6-foot-7, 364-pound mountain of a man, Jets GM Joe Douglas and head coach Adam Gase spoke about how no starting spots on the offensive line have been set in stone yet, and that training camp competition will help ensure that the five best players are on the field.
But barring anything unforeseen, Fant and Becton will be the two bookends of the line, with Alex Lewis, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten making up the interior.
"I'm really excited. He's a really good player," Fant said of Becton. "I'm from the Kentucky area so I've been watching him a little bit while he was at Louisville. He played against my school (Western Kentucky) so I've definitely seen him on film. He's a really good player. I'm excited to work with him."
Still, the question remains as to which tackle will start where. Fant was more of a swing tackle in Seattle, playing both the left and right side while filling in for injured starters. Becton, meanwhile, started his college career on the right side before moving over to left tackle during his sophomore season.
The left tackle spot is the premier tackle spot in the NFL, typically thought of more as the place for the team's best pass protector since it's the quarterback's blindside (unless the quarterback is left-handed), while right tackles typically don't get as much recognition for their work up front.
It really may just come down to whether or not Jets want to have Becton start on the right side knowing that one day he will need to switch over, or if they want him to just start at left tackle from Day 1 and never have to worry about the transition.
Fant was signed to a three-year deal, but as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has noted, it's really only fully guaranteed to be a one-year deal worth $9.25 million. If Fant performs well, he'll likely stay with the Jets for three years and maybe more after that, but the team can cut ties with him after one season if his play doesn't live up to expectations.
All in all, it's a good problem for Gang Green to have, with two players versatile enough to play either side, and the hope is that competition will bring out the best of both players and set the Jets up for success in the long run.