The New York Jets made a big move on Wednesday, as head coach Robert Saleh decided to bench former No. 2 overall pick quarterback Zach Wilson for Mike White. Saleh maintained during his press conference that this is not the end of Wilson's career in New York, and that he will play again this season, but what about next year?
The quarterback position is the most important in football, and the Jets have been winning despite their signal-caller. Wilson has completed 55.6% of his passes for 1,279 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions in seven games played this season. He has the fewest passing touchdowns through 20 career starts among any active quarterback (13), he's never had more than two passing touchdowns in a single game and has more games with fewer than 100 passing yards than 300 passing yards.
This Jets team looks great on paper in many areas. The wide receiving corps with Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore has potential, and the defense, led by Quinnen Williams and rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner, has been very impressive. At 6-4, the time is now for the Jets to step up and win some games, so they can make the postseason for the first time since the 2010 campaign.
What could the Jets do to upgrade at quarterback this offseason, if they choose to do so? Below, we will explore just that.
Let's start with the sexiest option. In fact, CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin has the Jets as the NFL MVP just signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Green Bay Packers, but he does somewhat have control over where he plays moving forward. Rodgers does not have a no-trade clause, but the Packers would obviously have to agree with where they would send him. Given how the past couple of offseasons have gone, I would imagine Rodgers could leave the Packers if he wants -- but retirement may be the most likely outcome this offseason. Still, we know Rodgers has a wandering eye, and the out-of-conference Jets could be a potential landing spot -- switching from one LaFleur brother to the other.if Rodgers were to leave Green Bay. The reigning
There's no doubt that the AFC East is a tough division with the likes of Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa and Bill Belichick, but the Jets are built to compete right now, and adding Rodgers would make the Jets an attractive spot for free agents. If you were curious, the Jets currently rank No. 17 in available 2023 cap space with $17.15M, per Over The Cap.
The quarterback carousel this upcoming offseason isn't a merry-go-round you'd wait in line for. Tom Brady is technically a free agent and Lamar Jackson is as well. I don't see either as legitimate options for the Jets at this point. Daniel Jones and Geno Smith are a couple of other names looking for new deals, but one player that did stick out on this list is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers of course attempted to move on from Garoppolo this offseason, but couldn't find a trade partner. That ended up being a blessing in disguise, as second-year quarterback Trey Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, so in stepped Jimmy G.
Garoppolo is averaging 239.9 passing yards per game this season, and has thrown 15 touchdowns compared to four interceptions in nine total games played while going 5-3 as the starter. Garoppolo is not someone who is going to automatically turn you into a Super Bowl contender just by himself, but he's a game manager -- which is something that would make the Jets better instantly. He could also come cheaper compared to someone like Rodgers. It's a pretty fascinating match to ponder.
The Jets could always draft a new quarterback. As it stands now, New York has the No. 18 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft -- which won't allow it to take one of the top signal-callers in the draft. That doesn't mean the Jets won't draft one somewhere, however. Here's CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Edwards on the Jets' situation:
"New York could package some picks together to go up and get one of those big three quarterbacks (Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Alabama's Bryce Young or Kentucky's Will Levis) but they may have to get into the top five with a handful of quarterback-needy teams already up there. Florida's Anthony Richardson is the only other player who I would personally consider in the first round right now. He is a bit rough around the edges, but has all of the raw traits necessary to one day be an impact player. With that being said, it is more likely that he returns to school in hopes of fulfilling that potential. If none of those options come to fruition, then the Jets should look for someone who can manage the game and limit mistakes. Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, Stanford's Tanner McKee, Oregon's Bo Nix and Fresno State's Jake Haener would be some in that next tier that would not require a lucrative investment but could help the team produce play that is not detrimental to the team."