New York Jets left tackle Duane Brown, 37, a five-time Pro Bowl selection who underwent recent surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff, has decided to return for his 17th season, his agent, Kennard McGuire, told ESPN on Sunday.
Brown said at the end of the season that he’d take some time to consider his future, fueling retirement speculation. Coach Robert Saleh said on Thursday that he ran into Brown in the weight room earlier that week, perhaps tipping off his intentions.
Brown started 12 games in his first season with the Jets, earning the respect of the organization because he played the entire season with the rotator-cuff injury.
He was injured in training camp, shortly after signing a two-year, $20 million contract as a free agent. Brown postponed surgery until after the season and missed the first four games but became the immediate starter at left tackle after coming off injured reserve.
The Jets were so impressed with his toughness and team-first attitude that they created a team award in his honor — the “Selfless Warrior” award. He was the first recipient.
“Duane is a freaking rock star, man, the way he fought through pain and injury,” Saleh said last week. “He did what I’d say about 90% of players probably wouldn’t have done, in terms of playing when he didn’t have to. All his money was already guaranteed, and the guy still strapped up and played 16 or however many games for us. … So a lot of respect for him, love his grind, love his grit, love what he stands for, and if he’s here, it’d be awesome.”
Brown, scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed $9 million in 2023 base pay, signed with the Jets after five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with the Houston Texans, who made him a first-round pick in 2008.
Brown has played 215 games, all as a starter.
In Brown, Mekhi Becton and Max Mitchell, the Jets have three experienced tackles under contract. They could look to bolster the position in the draft.