The New York Jets are in a probably awkward place if a deal to land Aaron Rodgers from the Inexperienced Bay Packers continues to stall, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo famous it has — or doesn’t materialize in any respect. Gang Inexperienced could possibly be lurking within the quarterback wilderness searching for an answer at QB once extra.
The 2022 NFL season was a step in the suitable route for the Jets. The protection made main strides to change into one of the feared models within the league and the 2022 Draft class, led by Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson, popped. New York was flying excessive, however unhealthy quarterback play throughout the board pulled the crew down.
Zeroing in on Rodgers is smart. The Jets have a roster that’s outfitted to win now and the veteran signal-caller makes them an prompt contender — however negotiations aren’t all the time simple. If a deal does break down, what ought to New York do to resolve the gaping gap below middle?
Commerce for one more quarterback
Let’s begin right here and throw out a reputation: Lamar Jackson. The non-exclusive franchise tag positioned on Jackson implies that any crew is free to barter a long-term contract with him, and if the Ravens decline to match the provide, they’ll get two first-round picks in return. If the Jets are ready to pay that value — and they need to be extra prepared to try this deal at that value versus paying the No. 13 choose for Rodgers — then they’re in enterprise.
In some methods, Jackson makes extra sense for the Jets than Rodgers. He’s additionally a former MVP, however he’s solely 26 years previous and firmly in his prime. Buying and selling for and signing Jackson to an extension ties the Jets to a franchise quarterback long-term, versus what could possibly be construed as a one or two-year rental with Rodgers. Such has been the character of discourse surrounding his retirement. (Rodgers instructed Pat McAfee he was “90 % retired” heading into his darkness retreat.)
If the Jets have been eager on buying and selling for a quarterback who wasn’t Jackson, they’d nonetheless have choices. Ryan Tannehill won’t have a long-term future in a Titans crew that would effectively be trying to rebuild, and whereas he isn’t the standard of Jackson or Rodgers, he’s confirmed that he can successfully lead an environment friendly offense. Names like Trey Lance or, to a lesser diploma, Mac Jones is also on New York’s radar.
Commerce up within the 2023 NFL Draft
The subsequent greatest step for the Jets is to focus on a quarterback on this draft class. It might be numerous stress for a rookie to come back right into a crew that wishes to compete now and cause them to the playoffs, however the Jets have a powerful ecosystem to help any would-be signal-caller. The offensive line has the makings of a powerful unit, particularly if Mekhi Becton returns, the working recreation with Breece Corridor has the possibility to be particular, they usually have a stud receiver in Garrett Wilson.
Concentrating on a able to go quarterback within the draft nearly definitely implies that the Jets are going to need to commerce up from No. 13 into the highest 4. Traditionally talking, the Jets are going to have to surrender one other first spherical choose on the absolute minimal. It’s secure to imagine that the value could also be within the area of No. 13, a 2024 first, and a 2025 first. That’s not low cost. But when they like a quarterback sufficient, consider C.J. Stroud on this offense, it’s price it. These ‘24 and ‘25 1sts will probably be within the late 20s anyway. It’s nonetheless costly, however simpler to justify if the Jets are good straight away.
They nonetheless would possibly be capable to seize a Will Levis or Anthony Richardson at No. 13, however each include query marks.
Put this one within the perhaps pile. The Jets might maintain on till draft day and see the place the chips fall too. There’s each likelihood a kind of quarterbacks might fall just a bit and make the value simpler to abdomen.
Hold tight for yet one more 12 months/a late-round choice within the draft
Undoubtedly, probably the most unpopular choice on the board. Robert Saleh has persistently mentioned that Zach Wilson has a component to play on this franchise transferring ahead, however that feels extra like candy speak than something. He and the entrance workplace have seen what Wilson brings to the desk they usually don’t prefer it. So would they be prepared to endure one other 12 months of Wilson below middle?
By some divine miracle, Wilson might develop right into a serviceable starter in his third season and finish any dialogue over what the Jets ought to do at quarterback. Nevertheless, it appears extra probably that the Jets could be in the identical predicament as final season. Or perhaps they may take an opportunity on a late-round prospect like Dorian Thompson-Robinson or Aidan O’Connell. It doesn’t whet the urge for food although.
That would set them up properly to be in competition for a quarterback in 2024, however this crew desires to win now and Saleh won’t have the backing of the homeowners to outlive one other shedding season. That is the worst-case situation for the Jets. For his or her sake, hopefully, a take care of Rodgers will get labored out quickly.