Jets sign first-rounder OT Mekhi Becton to $18.45 million deal

Former Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Becton was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and signed with the New York Jets. (Michael Conroy/AP)

NEW YORK — The New York Jets have signed rookie offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, the No. 11 overall pick in the NFL draft, to a four-year, $18.45 million contract.

The deal, based on the league’s rookie slotting system, is fully guaranteed and includes a $10.98 million signing bonus.

The Jets also announced Monday they’ve signed defensive end Jabari Zuniga, a third-round pick, quarterback James Morgan, a fourth-rounder, and punter Braden Mann, a sixth-rounder, to their rookie deals.

Safety Ashtyn Davis, a third-round selection, is the only member of New York’s nine-player draft class to remain unsigned. Rookies were scheduled to report to the team’s facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, on Tuesday to begin COVID-19 testing.

The 21-year-old Becton tweeted earlier in the day that he had landed in New Jersey, fueling speculation he would soon sign. A few hours later, the big O-lineman posted a photo of himself smiling while signing his contract. "IM OFFICIALY A NEW YORK JET!!!!!" he wrote. "LETS GOOOOO."

Becton is expected to compete with George Fant for the left tackle spot after being taken by the Jets out of Louisville.

"He brings an edge for us," coach Adam Gase said on a conference call after Becton was drafted. "He brings nasty to our offensive line room."

The massive offensive tackle is 6-foot-7, 365 pounds and has impressive speed for a man his size — he ran a 5.12 40-yard dash at the combine in February. He has a 7-foot wingspan and played both tackle spots for the Cardinals during his college career.

"He moves people like furniture," assistant GM Rex Hogan said. "He’s a big and powerful man."

Zuniga’s deal is worth $4.73 million over four years. The 6-4, 255-pound defensive end played in only six games last season because of ankle injuries, but had 18 1/2 sacks in four years at Florida.

Morgan, expected to be a backup behind starter Sam Darnold and veteran Joe Flacco, signed a four-year, $4 million contract. The 6-4, 213-pound quarterback threw 40 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions as FIU’s starter the last two years after transferring from Bowling Green.

Mann’s contract is for $3.47 million over four years. The former Texas A&M star set the NCAA record with 51 yards per punt during the 2018 season, and averaged 47.1 yards last season for the Aggies. He’ll replace Lachlan Edwards, who was not re-signed after four seasons.

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