The New York Jets officially signed All-Pro tackle Duane Brown to a two-year contract on Thursday. They brought him in for a workout in April and again late last week. With former first-round pick Mekhi Becton likely missing the season with an injury, Brown’s signing felt necessary.
Sources: Five-time Pro-Bowl OT Duane Brown is signing with the New York Jets, who lost OT Mekhi Becton earlier this week to a likely season-ending knee injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2022
Becton was already coming off a knee injury that forced him to miss 16 games last season. Now he faces another rehab stint for another knee injury. Yesterday Mike Tannenbaum, a former NFL Executive and Founder of The 33rd Team, alluded to this signing being something that could matriculate. Tannenbaum stated the reasoning for making this move was “a good offensive line is imperative for Zach Wilson to have a chance to be successful.”
Now with Brown officially in the building, the Jets can give Wilson the type of offensive line he needs to find success.
What Does Brown Bring to the Team?
Since 2011, Brown has been in the discussion for being one of the best tackles in the NFL. His tenure with the Houston Texans came to an end in 2017 when he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. He would earn multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors along the way including most recently a 2021 Pro Bowl invite.
The 33rd Teams Head of Scouting, T.J. McCreight, has seen a lot of positives from Brown’s play throughout the years but is concerned about his longevity.
“I really like [Duane] Brown’s film when he was in Houston,” McCreight said. “He could go toe to toe with any defenders and could produce in both the run and pass game.” McCreight added Brown’s play “dropped off” when he got to Seattle in 2017.
His former offensive line coach at Seattle, Mike Solari, said Brown signing with the Jets is “outstanding.”
“What he brings in leadership and as a pro is excellent, what he brings to the offensive line and offense is outstanding,” Solari said. “His work ethic and what he brings to the game as an outstanding left tackle. Excellent, one of the best tackles in space and does well blocking the perimeter.”
Brown is also one of 25 offensive linemen in NFL history to have started more than 200 regular season games.
(Only about 25 OL in NFL history have started 200+ regular season games)
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) August 11, 2022
All of these points are why the Jets were looking at Brown for the last four months.
What Do the Numbers Tell Us?
Numbers can always help paint a complete picture when it comes to a player, and there are several worth noting. Since 2017, Brown has had an average blown block percentage of 11.6%. He also posted single-digit percentages in two of the last four years at Seattle. Additionally, Brown ranked 15th in Sports Info Solutions’ Total Points out of 103 offensive tackles.
All of that shows he is more than capable of protecting Zach Wilson despite his older age.
Still, his age is a number that is resulting in some concern from Tannenbaum:
Smart move, however he will be 37 in a few weeks and durability could become an issue https://t.co/Mg4tfYEqu1
— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) August 11, 2022
McCreight also pointed to this being a potential wildcard in the signing.
“He has been healthy, but this player will be 37 years old when the season kicks off,” McCreight said. “I’m not sure how much gas he has left in the tank.”
That is going to be the part of this signing most worth watching as the season progresses. The Jets gave him a substantial contract of two years, $22 million, which could mean they like where he is at physically. He will have plenty of opportunities to show he has earned that contract as the 2022 season unfolds. For now, the Jets can be patient as Becton rehabs. Brown is a reliable starter for the time being and someone who can be a leader for the Jets’ younger offensive linemen.
Andrew Harbaugh contributed to this report.