Aaron Rodgers is out for the season with a torn Achilles. That puts Zach Wilson into the starting lineup for the Jets. It also puts the Jets into the quarterback market. Robert Saleh has said Wilson is the guy for the rest of the season. The truthfulness of that statement remains to be seen. Even if the Jets are committed to Wilson, however, they still will likely be looking to upgrade the second spot over Tim Boyle. Let’s take a look at some of the options grouped by category from least to most likely.
Most Likely: The Free Agents
Options include: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Colt McCoy, Joe Flacco, Brett Rypien
If this group looks uninspiring, it is. It is questionable that any of these players would even represent an upgrade over Zach Wilson. That is why these players are all available after Week 1 of the regular season. Players in this group lack a home in a league where you can never have too much quality quarterback depth. Jets general manager Joe Douglas has ties with Wentz and Foles from his time in Philadelphia. That doesn’t make Wentz a good option. Three straight years his team has given up on him. We have seen Foles deliver a Super Bowl on a team with a loaded roster where he could play facilitator. That was a long time ago, however, and Foles did not have to play the full season. Rypien and McCoy have physical limitations that prevent them from being viable players for more than a game or two executing limited concepts. We have seen that Flacco’s tank is empty after an excellent career. Still because of how available these players are, it is likely either one of these options or another free agent will ultimately be the player the Jets bring in.
Less Likely: High End Backups
Options include: Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum, Gardner Minshew
These quarterbacks fit the high end backup/decent spot start/low end full-time starter category. On a team with a loaded defense and a dominant running back where you don’t need a ton from your passing game, they might be able to do enough to lead your team to success. There is a strong argument that players in these categories would be an upgrade over Wilson and could take over the starting quarterback job for the Jets. There is a big obstacle, availability. No team is going to give up on its season after one week. The Jets’ predicament also shows how valuable having a capable backup quarterback is. Why give one up unless there is a severe overpay?
Dream On: Quality Starting Quarterbacks
Options include: Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins
Calling these players “options” is admittedly a stretch. I am only including them because people on the internet seem intent on spreading rumors that these players could actually be traded to the Jets. If giving up a decent backup quarterback one week into the season makes little sense, think about what it would look like for a team to blow a hole in its starting lineup open. Stafford’s contract would also make a trade extremely complex if not impossible. Of course it would be great for the Jets, but there is no sign either of these players is available. Their teams want to win.
The Ridiculous: Retired Quarterbacks
Options include: Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan
Once again, the word “options” is a stretch. Luck hasn’t played an NFL game in close to five years. The Colts hold his playing rights, and he retired in part because of the number of hits he took early in his career. There is no indication he has any interest in returning. Rivers hasn’t played in almost three years. At least Ryan was in the NFL last year, but his skills have diminished to the point where he has little left to offer. He also lacks any mobility, which would be an issue behind this Jets line. Furthermore, he just took a job with CBS.
The Utter Nonsense: Tom Brady
I don’t know who started the ludicrous rumor that Brady is an option for the Jets. Please don’t give any clicks to an article suggesting this is a viable option. Brady is 46. He has hated the Jets his entire career. He would devastate his biggest fans. He has shown no sign he has desire to return as a player. If none of that convinces you, let me add that he now is part-owner of the Raiders, which prohibits him from signing with another team. Don’t waste your time giving this one any thought.