As the New York Jets gear up for the 2023 off-season, it is time to preview where each position stands. Whether the talent is already under contract, or the Jets acquire players through free agency or the draft, General Manager Joe Douglas looks to build a contender in Florham Park, New Jersey. That being said, let’s take a look at the Jets quarterback preview for the 2023 off-season.
New York Jets 2023 Off-Season Preview: Quarterback
Jets Under Contract for 2023
Entering the 2023 off-season, the Jets have two quarterbacks under contract. The first is Zach Wilson, who has an $11 million cap hit and is all but guaranteed to make the team. The reality is the team needs to eat his full contract in dead cap with release and barring a trade, Joe Douglas is not giving up on the former second overall pick after two years. Despite his lackluster play, the team believes they can still develop the BYU product.
Meanwhile, 2022 pre-season star Chris Streveler remains with Gang Green. The former CFL quarterback returned to the NFL in 2020 with the Arizona Cardinals, before bouncing around the league and sticking with the Jets in 2022. Joining the practice squad in July, he didn’t make the initial roster, but the practice squad. After a few Sundays of call-ups but not dressing to play, Streveler finally emerged in the Week 16 Jacksonville Jaguars game. Should new Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett opt to utilize Streveler like Taysom Hill, Streveler will have a role. However, if not, then Streveler will need to fight for the third-string spot or embrace the emergency quarterback role yet again.
2023 NFL Free Agency Quarterback Options
Chances are – Lamar Jackson will remain a Baltimore Raven or cost a significant amount of capital to trade for on a transition tag. In other words, acquiring the 2019 NFL MVP may be a dream. The same could be said about Daniel Jones or Geno Smith’s New York comeback, as both are likely to receive the franchise tag or sign an extension with their respective teams.
Of the unrestricted free agent market, what remains is Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, Talor Heinicke, and Gardner Minshew. Clearly, Garoppolo is the best option available. In nine years in the NFL, Garoppolo has made 57 career starts (74 games), with 14,289 passing yards, 85 passing touchdowns, and 42 interceptions to his name. The past six years with the San Francisco 49ers offense would translate well to Hackett’s west coast scheme. But the bottom line – Garoppolo, even with his durability concerns, is a significant improvement over Mayfield, Heinicke, and Minshew.
Should it come to one of the last three names, the Jets will consider re-signing Mike White. The 27-year-old quarterback showed flashes of his high-upside as a signal caller when healthy for the Jets in 2022.
Trade Market Options at Quarterback
Here is where things get interesting because two names come to mind – Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr.
Starting with Aaron Rodgers, it will not be cheap to bring him to New York. In order to acquire Rodgers alone, it will take at least one first-round pick, and at minimum two future-day two selections if not more. Additionally, a Rodgers trade, with where the Jets salary cap stands, would take weeks to prepare more if not months. Yes, even at 39 years old, Rodgers would make Gang Green an immediate contender in a tough AFC. But might Carr be the better choice?
The verdict is still out on whether or not Derek Carr would want to come to New York. The Las Vegas Raiders forced the nine-year veteran out, and he is going to want to go to a team with pieces to contend on both sides of the football. New York is amongst those that fit that bill, and while Rodgers is a better scheme fit for Hackett, Carr’s upside with the Jets is through the roof. Not to mention, whether trade or free agency, it will take significantly less capital to bring in Carr than Rodgers. Something that surely will be music to Joe Douglas’ ears.
2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Options
No, the New York Jets are not trading up to select another supposed ‘franchise savior’. Slotted with the 13th overall selection, top quarterback prospects Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, and possibly even Anthony Richardson will be off the board. On day two, the Jets could take a swing at another developmental option in Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker or even Stanford’s Tanner McKee. Perhaps they go for one on day three and look for a game manager in Jake Haener of Fresno State or buy into Stetson Bennett from Georgia. Two other names to watch for later in the draft are Aidan O’Connell (Purdue) and Clayton Tune (Houston). In other words, no, the Jets are not picking a quarterback early, though, one in the later rounds could be a smart investment.
Jets Quarterback Roster Construction Prediction
Going into training camp this July, the New York Jets will have four quarterbacks on the roster. Zach Wilson and Chris Streveler will be fighting for the backup quarterback job. There will be a rookie at camp, whether drafted on day two, three, or even undrafted. Nonetheless, the headliner will be that the Jets bring in a veteran quarterback with playoff aspirations as their starter.
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