Jets Pick Up OL Alijah Vera-Tucker’s Fifth-Year Option

When healthy, Alijah Vera-Tucker has been a critical member of the Jets’ offensive line. His injury history led to some questions about whether or not the team would exercise his fifth-year option, but they have taken the expected route in this case.

[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Vera-Tucker’s 2025 option will be picked up, general manager Joe Douglas announced in his post-draft press conference. As a result of this decision, the 24-year-old will receive $15.31MM guaranteed that season. Considerable missed time prevented him from attaining a higher slot in terms of option value.

The USC product has split his time between guard and tackle with New York as the team has dealt with availability and performance issues up front. Vera-Tucker would ideally settle into a role on the interior, and the Jets’ actions so far this offseason suggest that will be possible moving forward. Tackle upgrades have been a priority for Douglas and Co. in free agency and the draft.

New York signed Tyron Smith to protect Aaron Rodgers‘ blindside, and the team reunited with Morgan Moses at the right tackle spot. Both veterans have dealt with injuries, though, and their age led to many believing a long-term investment would be needed this weekend. Indeed, New York used the No. 11 selection on Olu Fashanu. The Penn State product could see the field as a rookie if Smith and/or Moses miss time, but he profiles as a starter no later than 2025.

Vera-Tucker was limited to seven games in 2022, and this past season saw a repeat of considerable time spent on the sidelines. An Achilles tear ended his 2023 campaign, though he is expected to be healthy in time for the start of the regular season. In that case, the Jets would have a key member of their new-look offensive line in place ahead of the 2024 season, one in which better luck on the health front will be critical.

Across his three seasons to date, Vera-Tucker has drawn consistent PFF grades; run blocking in particular has been a strength. A healthy season in 2024 during which his level of performance was maintained could very well put him on the extension radar, but for now his intermediate future is clear.

View Comments (0)