The New York Jets have been among the most active organizations this offseason as they try to build a young foundation around rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
The latest move is intended to help protect the former BYU quarterback and the team’s top overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Last Friday, the team reportedly signed veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses a one-year, $3.6 million deal, as first reported by The Washington Post.
Who is Morgan Moses?
The 30-year-old Moses was released by the Washington Football Team in mid-May in a cost-cutting move. That put a starting right tackle out on the market, and the Jets capitalized.
Moses was a third-round draft pick in 2014 by Washington, and had been with the organization until being released. In his seven NFL seasons, Moses has started 97 of his 104 career games, and he’s been reliable, never missing a game in the past six years.
Moses could earn up to $5.3 million this year if he plays 80% or more of the team’s snaps, The Washington Post reported, which would seem likely, as the Post said he’s never played less than 92% of his team’s snaps since becoming a full-time starter in 2015.
“Morgan is a fantastic player. He’s played at a very high level,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said recently, according to ESPN. “We’re not going to shy away from adding good football players.”
How will Moses fit in with New York?
Not only will Moses provide valuable depth along the line, but he’s expected to start for the Jets at right tackle given his playing history.
Before Moses became available, the team was likely rolling with sixth-year man George Fant at right tackle. Fant joined the team on a three-year, $27.3 million deal last season, per Spotrac, after playing four seasons for Seattle, and he started 14 games for New York in 2020.
With Moses on board, though, the Jets continue to build up their offensive line. At $3.6 million, Moses joins the team for a year on a very manageable financial contract while providing a valuable veteran presence for one of the league’s worst offensive lines from a year ago.
How does this help Zach Wilson?
Pro Football Focus ranked the Jets’ offensive line fourth-worst in the NFL in 2020, allowing pressure in 2.5 seconds or less on 28% of their dropbacks, the worst rate in the league. The team also gave up 43 sacks and were among the league’s worst in yards per carry (4.1, sixth-worst).
That leaves a lot of room for improvement in the trenches.
New York has used the past two drafts to bolster their line early in the draft. Mekhi Becton was the team’s top draft pick in 2020, and he was a bright spot on the line last year at the Jets’ starting at left tackle — he rated 19th among 38 qualifying left tackles with a 74.3 grade from Pro Football Focus.
This year, the Jets moved up nine spots to select USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker with their second selection, in the middle of the first round. He is expected to compete for the team’s starting left guard position.
One concern about Becton, though, is his durability. ESPN reported that Becton, who missed the equivalent of five games last season with a variety of injuries, missed much of the team’s offseason program as he battles plantar fasciitis.
That again speaks to the value of having Moses join the organization. Along with the team adding more offensive weapons at the skill positions, it’s clear the Jets have prioritized building their offense around Wilson.