Does Duane Brown make sense for the Jets?

August 7, 2022

With depth at tackle being on the mind of all Jets fans and commentators since Becton’s injury plagued 2021 season; the team approaches the coming season with nerves regarding his ability to stay healthy, and questionable depth behind Becton and Fant. As it stands, if either misses any time, Conor McDermott, Chuma Edoga or rookie Max Mitchell will be what stands between Zach Wilson and edge rushers around the NFL.

Jets are having a visit from Duane Brown

This isn’t good enough for Zach, the team, or the fans. We spent too much of last season watching Zach run around after McDermott or Edoga got wiped out while trying to fill in at one of the tackle spots.

News broke on Saturday that the Jets are having a visit from Duane Brown, long stay at left tackle for the Seattle Seahawks since 2017, at the Green and White scrimmage. Brown has been in the league since 2008, when he was drafted 26th overall by the Texans. He spent 10 years at Houston before being traded to the Seahawks in 2017, and in 2018 signed a respectable 3 year extension with the team for £34.5 million.

He’s been reliable over the stretch, missing just a little over 20 games in a 14 year career despite struggling with knee, and going to 4 Pro Bowls. Brown graded out highly as a pass blocker in 2020 and earned an overall score of 87.3 from PFF at the age of 34; although this slipped somewhat in 2021 with Brown ending the season with a PFF grade of 71.5.

There’s no doubt Brown would be a huge upgrade over what the Jets currently have sitting on the bench at tackle, and it’d be a solid move for Joe Douglas to make similar to the late addition of Morgan Moses in 2021, which payed off massively when Becton went down against the Panthers. But the question from me is more: what’s in it for Brown?

Sure, 2021 was not the best year for Brown, but this didn’t stop PFF rating Brown 3rd in their 10 top free agent tackles going into the 2022 offseason. Brown could probably find a spot to start in 2022 if he really wanted to, and that’s not something that’s on offer with the Jets. Even if Becton was having issues that aren’t being shared outside of the Jets building, Brown is a career Left Tackle, and it’s been made clear by the team that that particular job belongs to George Fant.

Would I like to see Duane Brown sign with the Jets to be a solid back up? Sure I would. Do I think it’s likely to happen if there’s any other offers on the table? No. I think if Brown has an offer to start, or to at least compete for a starting job somewhere else he’ll likely be signing elsewhere. That will leave Joe Douglas looking closely at the upcoming cuts once they start happening in the hopes that someone shakes free who can fill the backup tackle position.