New York Jets Tackle Blasts Coaches for Position Switch

The New York Jets' 2020 first-round pick has some hard feelings about a switch to right tackle. Speaking with Newsday's Bob Glauber, Mekhi Becton expressed resentment for coaches denying him the opportunity to play on the left side in last year's training camp, which he believes resulted in a right knee injury that cost him the entire season.

"It made no sense to put me at right tackle," Becton said. "I hurt my right knee. That's going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on. I explained it, but no one cared."

Becton was still recovering from cartilage damage suffered during the 2021 season opener that cost him all but one game. He has played a mere 15 of a possible 50 games since entering the league as the Jet's 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"I got forced to play a position I don't play," Becton continued, "and then I was pretty much telling them I wasn't feeling good the whole time throughout training camp, and I was told I shouldn't be complaining. Go out there and do it. I was limping throughout the whole practice, and I just took a step and my knee buckled and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive surgery."

It's rare for a player to come out with so much acrimony towards a team and coaching staff that still controls his destiny, particularly since Becton doesn't appear to be angling for a trade or release. His value around the league couldn't be much lower following his unfortunate rash of injuries, so he may have to make the most of whatever opportunity is presented to him.

If Becton is unwilling to play on the right side, he'll have to put together an exceptionally impressive offseason to earn back blindside duties. The Jets signed five-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown to a two-year, $20 million deal in 2022, and he's likely to have the first bite at the apple. Unless Becton can endear himself to the coaching staff, he may be forced to accept another uneasy compromise, or he could end up looking for a new team.   

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