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Who Should Be Jets’ QB In 2023?

  • Justin Melo
  • February 13, 2023
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The New York Jets will spend the impending offseason sorting through their options at quarterback. What the Jets decide to do at the signal-caller position is one of the biggest offseason dominoes. General manager Joe Douglas possesses several options, including trading for a veteran like Aaron Rodgers or Lamar Jackson, or signing an unrestricted free-agent-to-be like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo

Looking at all of the Jets’ options, signing Carr would be the appropriate move. Carr recently informed the Raiders he won’t be waiving his no-trade clause, according to multiple reports. The Raiders will now react to Carr’s decision by releasing him from his contract in the coming days. The move must be triggered prior to Feb. 15, as that date guarantees Carr $40.4 million in salary across the next two campaigns.

Carr struggled to acclimate to Josh McDaniels’ complicated offense in 2022 but has been a top-15 NFL quarterback since 2015. The Jets would no longer need to part with draft capital in order to acquire Carr. It signals a significant shift in the Carr sweepstakes and should increase the Jets’ interest as a result.

The Jets will face competition for Carr’s services. Carr recently visited the New Orleans Saints, and could still consider them a viable candidate following his release from the Raiders.

It’s worth noting the Jets hired former Raiders and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing on Monday—Downing will serve as the team’s new passing game coordinator. Downing spent the 2017 season as Carr’s offensive coordinator in Oakland. That familiarity could help Carr make a smooth transition to the Jets’ offense. Downing’s arrival could also link the Jets to an offseason trade for Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Carr is a better quarterback and a better option.

Most of the smoke regarding the Jets’ quarterback position has surrounded a potential blockbuster deal for Rodgers. New Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett developed an excellent relationship with the four-time NFL MVP throughout a three-year stint (2019-21) as Rodgers’ offensive coordinator in Green Bay. It’s worth noting the Packers’ reported asking price in exchange for Rodgers begins with two first-round selections. It’s a sizable ask for a 39-year-old quarterback that showed signs of decline in 2022.

Could the Jets consider Garoppolo? Jets head coach Robert Saleh spent four seasons (2017-20) alongside Garoppolo in San Francisco. Garoppolo is already familiar with Hackett’s system, operating a similar offense under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Garoppolo is on an expiring contract and isn’t expected back with the 49ers. He’d certainly cost less than Rodgers and probably Carr too but would be a game-manager-type quarterback at best.

Jackson could be available this offseason. Recent reports indicate the Ravens will consider trading Jackson for multiple first-round picks after applying the franchise tag later this summer. Jackson, like Rodgers, would arrive in East Rutherford via a hefty price tag that involves premium draft capital. It’d be a risky proposition considering Jackson has suffered lower-body injuries in back-to-back campaigns. Jackson has also never played in the Jets’ offensive system and feels like a poor fit for Hackett’s ideologies.

The Jets possess no shortage of options at quarterback this summer. Douglas must navigate through an aggressive market to identify and acquire the right fit. A high-level offensive supporting cast that features Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Breece Hall is already in place. The Jets will be postseason contenders in 2023 if they make the right move at quarterback. Carr would be the correct choice.

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Justin Melo