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Pro Bowl Offensive Tackle Duane Brown Signs With The Jets Days After Mekhi Becton Goes Down With Major Injury

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I know Pro Bowls aren't as celebrated as they once were, but when you go five different times, you're doing something right. As I predicted (although it wasn't at all difficult to do so) when covering Meki Becton's potential season-ending knee injury, the New York Jets grabbed a proven offensive tackle in Duane Brown to ensure that Zach Wilson would be as well-protected as possible entering his pivotal second season.

Brown did not miss a single start over the past two seasons in Seattle. Prior to his five-plus-season stint in Seattle, he was the Houston Texans' franchise left tackle. That's also where Jets head coach Robert Saleh got his start in the NFL, Saleh then had to see Brown twice a year in NFC West play when he served as 49ers defensive coordinator, so there's a prior relationship and strong familiarity to build on there.

For his first two seasons as a pro, Brown played in a system masterminded by then-Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who's now at the helm in San Francisco. Current Jets play-caller Mike LaFleur was on Shanahan's 49ers staff for four seasons, so having a direct descendent from Shanahan's coaching tree should help Brown get up to speed very quickly on the playbook and terminology.

Other than the fact that Gang Green may not be a competitive football team this season, you couldn't draw up a better destination for Brown at this late stage of training camp. Given how long he's been in the league, I totally get why he'd bide his time and avoid the camp grind. He's a consummate pro who can still get it done even as he turns 37 years old later this month. Becton was due to switch over to right tackle. Now that Brown is in the building, I have a feeling George Fant will slide back over to the right tackle spot while Brown is tasked with protecting Wilson's blind side.

Although it's still a big bummer that Becton is out for New York, perhaps if the young man can hang around the team and not isolate as much while he rehabs his injury, he could benefit from a mentor like Brown. Becton could gain valuable insight from the vet on succeeding in the NFL for the long haul. I imagine Saleh will encourage this, too.

I feel like too often, signings like this that seem to make so much sense on paper don't actually go through. I can't fathom why. Credit Jets GM Joe Douglas for not overthinking this and pulling the trigger. He has a build a promising yet youthful team who could use a locker room leader like Brown to give them a lift as they navigate a pressure-packed 2022 campaign laced with uncertainty.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald