One down, two to go.
Pen to paper. pic.twitter.com/MaQooTSy7E
— New York Jets (@nyjets) July 21, 2021
The New York Jets announced that they have agreed to terms with first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the interior offensive lineman received a fully guaranteed four-year deal with a fifth-year team option (as expected for first-round picks). It is worth $15.885 million with an $8.9 million signing bonus.
#Jets first-round G Alijah Vera-Tucker, drafted 14th, has signed his contract, team announces. Four years, $15.885M, fully gtd. Includes an $8.9M signing bonus and a fifth-year team option.
Zach Wilson and Elijah Moore remain unsigned.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) July 21, 2021
The Jets’ rookie class reported to the team facility in Florham Park today, July 20, allowing Vera-Tucker to sign his deal. Training camp will officially begin next Wednesday, July 28.
Vera-Tucker heads into his rookie season as one of the most highly-valued players on the Jets’ roster. Joe Douglas sent two third-round picks (66th and 86th overall) and the 23rd pick of the first round to the Minnesota Vikings (Minnesota also sent back a fourth-round pick, 143rd overall) in order to move up to the 14th overall slot and nab Vera-Tucker.
A native of Oakland, CA, and a product of Bishop O’Dowd high school in Oakland, Vera-Tucker offers intriguing athleticism and versatility to the Jets’ offensive line. He burst onto the scene as one of the nation’s best left guards as a redshirt sophomore in 2019, and then in 2020, he switched over to left tackle and was one of the country’s best performers at that position.
In New York, Vera-Tucker is expected to begin his career at left guard, filling a hole in the spot where Alex Lewis struggled last season.
The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Vera-Tucker lit up his pro day, showcasing agility, burst, and quickness – traits that are necessary to thrive in the outside-zone running scheme that Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is set to carry over from San Francisco.
Vera-Tucker’s 32-inch vertical jump ranks at the 92nd percentile all-time among guard prospects, while his 5.13-second time in the forty-yard dash ranks at the 82nd percentile. He also posted great marks in the broad jump (106 inches, 77th percentile) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.63 seconds, 76th percentile).
As for Moore and Wilson, the Jets will certainly be hoping to get their contracts done prior to the start of camp to avoid any distractions or missed time for the promising youngsters. Both players are already in town and will be for the next eight days prior to the opening of camp, so the window has opened for the two contract situations to progress quickly.