As the offseason begins, Gang Green Nation will take a look at potential ways to improve the club. Today we will explore signing Byron Leftwich.
Profile: Leftwich took over as the starting quarterback at Marshall University after Chad Pennington graduated. The most enduring image of his college career is being carried down the field by his linemen after a long completion because he was injured and could not make it down the field on his own. The Jaguars took him with the seventh pick of the 2003 Draft. He put together some decent seasons in Jacksonville, including what appeared to be a breakout 2005 in which he threw 15 touchdowns against 5 inteceptions. However, he could never shake David Garrard and firmly entrench himself as the starter. On the eve of the 2007 season, the team named Garrard the starter and cut Leftwich. Byron moved to a hopeless situation in Atlanta, where he played well in his first start before leaving with an ankle injury. He moved on to Pittsburgh in 2008, where he saw his only major action of the year on a Monday night game in Washington replacing an injured Ben Roethlisberger. Byron hit 7 of 10 passes for 129 yards.
Why It Makes Sense: The Jets do not have a proven quarterback on the roster. While Leftwich will not be headed to Canton after his career is over, he has shown the ability to play the position at an adequate level. His career quarterback rating of 80.3 and touchdown-interception split of 54-38 are solid. In a run-oriented offense, he can probably do a decent job as a game-manager. At only 28, he has time to improve. He has top ten pick talent. He has just never been in a position to succeed. Having only started three games in the past two seasons, Leftwich will not command a big salary, and he would probably embrace a chance to compete for a starting job.
Odds of Happening: The front office will probably give Leftwich strong consideration. As an affordable option to provide veteran insurance at the quarterback spot, he is a logical fit.