His place as one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players notwithstanding, Mekhi Becton made some pointed comments when insisting he was a left tackle in May. This forced Robert Saleh to address said comments. Several weeks after predicting he would return to his former spot and win the job, the fourth-year blocker now said (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello) he would be fine playing right tackle again. Becton, who has missed 33 straight regular-season games, said he underwent the wrong surgery to repair his September 2021 knee injury. He indicated he was not fully healed when he went down again, shortly after being moved to right tackle, during the Jets’ 2022 training camp. Becton, who missed time during this year’s camp with more knee trouble, has returned to the field and is expected to play in a limited role in Thursday’s preseason opener, Saleh said.
Duane Brown, 37, has been viewed as the favorite to win the Jets’ left tackle position. But the 16th-year veteran, who underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, remains on the team’s active/PUP list. Billy Turner had received first-team left tackle reps in front of Becton earlier in camp, though the ex-Packers and Broncos right tackle has also been working on the right side with Max Mitchell.
Here is the latest from the AFC East:
- The Bills have made a concerted effort to put Stefon Diggs questions in their rearview mirror. The Pro Bowl wide receiver said he is not angling for more say in the team’s play-calling. “For me to just want more say in the offense, it’s crazy because I play receiver,” Diggs said recently. “I don’t care what play is called. I can’t get up there and say, ‘Call this.’ It’s a lot of outlandish, obvious things where people [are] throwing out there or people were saying as far as my role.” A report suggested Diggs was unhappy with his role in Buffalo’s offense. Although Diggs did not say what caused Sean McDermott to send him home from a minicamp day, the ninth-year veteran has since said he was never at odds with Josh Allen and said he and the Bills are on good terms. Diggs’ $24MM-per-year contract runs through 2026.
- Although it would seem Mike White had a virtual guarantee to become the Dolphins‘ backup quarterback, he entered camp in a battle with 2022 third-stringer Skylar Thompson for the gig. White signed a two-year, $8MM deal ($4.5MM guaranteed) in March, and the Dolphins were believed to be enamored with the ex-Jet as Tua Tagovailoa insurance. Thompson has extended a promising offseason into training camp, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, who adds last year’s QB3-turned-emergency starter is being given a legitimate opportunity to become the backup. Considering Tagovailoa’s injury history, Miami’s QB2 post stands as one of the league’s most important reserve spots.
- Daron Payne, Jeffery Simmons, Dexter Lawrence and Quinnen Williams have signed long-term deals this offseason, creating a fairly set price range for the Dolphins as they negotiate a Christian Wilkins extension. While the team wants to extend the fifth-year D-tackle and is optimistic on doing so, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes no significant momentum has developed in these talks. Wilkins is tied to a $10.75MM fifth-year option salary. The sides have been talking for months.
- Dolphins target Cedrick Wilson Jr. has been connected to trade rumors. Multiple reports indicated the team was willing to part with Wilson, who signed a three-year deal worth $22.1MM in March 2022. Dolphins GM Chris Grier said the team is not shopping Wilson, despite reports to the contrary, and the sixth-year receiver said (via Jackson) he is not seeking a trade. Wilson’s $5MM guarantee for 2023 will complicate a trade; the Dolphins would save $7MM by moving him. Wilson did not live up to his contract last year, totaling 136 receiving yards in 15 games. While Trent Sherfield is no longer in the mix, the Dolphins have added Chosen Anderson and Braxton Berrios this offseason.