Earlier this week, Over the Cap took a look at some potential salary cap casualties at the quarterback position. The Jets will likely be in the market for a veteran stopgap type quarterback. Whether or not they draft a quarterback this year, it probably would not be wise to go with an all young quarterback group that included Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are unlikely to return, and that is probably in the best interests of all parties.
Cap casualties won’t be the only options. It isn’t even a guarantee all of these guys will be options. Here are some of the players Over the Cap listed, though.
There aren’t any great options. Some are just more not great than others. Here are some thoughts I have in the order Over the Cap listed them.
While not all of these players are locks to be cut, Cutler almost surely is. I have felt for a long time like the perception of Cutler was better than the reality. He’s a big name with a big arm. For a time, he seemed to be viewed as a franchise quarterback. Here’s the thing. He’s only thrown for 4,000 yards once. His quarterback rating has only been above 90 once. He also has never thrown 30 touchdowns in a season. Now stats aren’t everything for a quarterback. Is Cutler the type of guy who lifts his teammates on his back? He has exactly one Playoff win in his eleven year career, and that came against perhaps the worst Playoff team the NFL has produced in two decades. I also could see people jumping all over Cutler for some of the body language he shows when things aren’t going well.
Kaepernick has drawn so many headlines for things unrelated to what he has done on the field that a lot of people have strong feelings on him before we discuss his skills. I wasn’t high on the idea of the Jets making a move for him last year, and my mind hasn’t changed. I was a big fan early in his career, but I think his coaching staff used his unique skillset and caught the league off guard. Once they caught up, Kaepernick did not develop other parts of his game at all. He has a big arm and athleticism, but those do not a quarterback make.
If it’s 2013, and you have the Chip Kelly offense with all of those playmakers, Foles sounds great. Not so much since then.
Romo is clearly the best (or at least most accomplished) quarterback on the Over the Cap list. I tend to think he won’t be cut. Some team may view him as the last piece of the puzzle and make a trade. I’m against the Jets giving up Draft picks for a quick fix option like Romo. If he hit the market and only cost money, would that change things? I’m not sure. I think Romo is too risky to commit to for more than a year. He will be 37 and has only started 4 games in the last 2 seasons. Sure, that also has to do with Dak Prescott’s emergence, but he has had trouble staying healthy behind the best offensive line in the league. That’s a little scary.
Taylor could be a reasonable option. If you only look at his numbers, he looks like a great quarterback. On film, he’s less impressive. He isn’t an anticipation thrower, and he isn’t great going deep into progressions. His numbers are at least partially a reflection of the Bills doing everything they could to keep him in favorable situations. They’ve heavily committed to the run to keep Taylor out of positions where he has to put the team on his back. No team has had less throws on third and 7 or longer in the last 2 seasons. He has thrown 30 or more passes in a Buffalo win exactly once. When he’s had to lift the team, he hasn’t shown ability. Still, relative to the other quarterbacks on the list, he looks like a decent bridge to the future possibility. He has shown some ability to make plays with his legs and with longer passes, and he has done a good job limiting interceptions.
McCown has lasted in the NFL for a very long time, but his body of work is essentially a sea of awful with an island of excellence for part of 2013 that seems to have extended his career for years to come.
Robert Griffin III
He has struggled to stay healthy. He probably never will be the explosive playmaker he was as a rookie. He also hasn’t developed much as a passer. This is hardly a great option.
Bradford is becoming the poster boy of why completion percentage isn’t always indicative of quality quarterback play. I think he has shown beyond a doubt that he isn’t the type of quarterback who can carry a team. He certainly doesn’t make many big plays, but he does avoid mistakes, which would be something in a stopgap. The price the Vikings paid for him was crazy, but he’s a viable short-term option if he is simply a free agent.
I don’t see Smith being cut, but he would be a pretty attractive bridge option for the Jets. Like Bradford, he avoids the big mistake, but he’s more productive.