Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

An Available Veteran Free Agent Quarterback for the New York Jets

John Idzik and company were taken by surprise this week, when David Garrard pulled out of the Jets’ quarterback competition and retired from the NFL. The biggest concern about Garrard competing for the job was his injured knee, and if it is already not holding up, it’s probably for the best that he retires. It sounds a bit selfish when he says that his decision might have been different if he had been guaranteed a roster spot, but that is for another discussion.

So, where do the Jets go from here? There are four guys left in the competition as we know, but one really isn’t a part of it. Right now, it seems a forgone conclusion that the three QBs to make the team will be Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, and Greg McElroy, in an order of the depth chart to be pre-determined. Matt Simms is considered nothing more than a camp arm.

How do the Jets stir the competition up a bit, if they choose to? They might very well be happy with going into camp with four quarterbacks. But what if they aren’t? What if they want to bring in one more quarterback to fill out the competition? Can they do it? I believe they can, and with a name that will likely come as a surprise. Who is it?

Tyler Thigpen, that’s who.

Before you comment that I am nuts, here me out. Then, tell me I’m nuts, but only after you read first.

First of all, Tyler is still young, at only 29 years old. Whether you like David Garrard or not, and I did very much, he is 35 years old. It’s tough to feel threatened by a quarterback that is in his mid-thirties, especially when the team is overall trying to get younger. I have heard the suggestion of Charlie Batch. He is 38 years old, and feels like when they added Mark Brunell. Could Batch teach and be a sounding board? Sure. But they need a guy that they could feel comfortable with using if needed.

At 29, Thigpen is more than young enough to take over the team if needed.

Join that with the fact that when he had his chance to start, Tyler Thigpen tasted some success. Take it back to 2008, when Thigpen started 11 games for the Kansas City Chiefs. That year, he completed 230 out of 420 passes for 2,608 yards, for 18 TDs vs only 12 INTs. He added 6.2 yards per carry on 62 scrambles as well.

Is that success modest? Sure, I am not saying he had a Peyton Manning-esque season here. But, keep in mind that his team went 2-14, and that success all of a sudden looks quite a bit better.

After all of this time spent as a backup, I am sure it will not cost a ton of money. He only made $1.5 million in 2012, he won’t command much, if any more than that.

With all of that said, this is a guy that could add a lot to the competition at quarterback. He at least would force the others to play hard. I don’t see a down side to giving this guy a chance.

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Tags: Free Agent Jets Qb Competition New York Jets Tyler Thigpen

  • mfitz8530

    Read your argument…still think you’re nuts. Not necessarily about Thigpen as an option, though. If they’re going to grab a veteran FA QB, you made a fair enough argument for him. I just dislike the idea of adding another arm. I’d rather see Garrard or some other retired veteran QB come on as a special assistant during camp as has been rumored.

    • matr dontelli iii

      i agree with your points. if garrard can’t go let’s look at it as a blessing in disguise. it’ll give the man guys more reps. mornhinweg and lee will better be able to evaluate mark, geno and greg. if they feel they need another advisor in camp just bring in namath. he can’t seem to keep his mouth shut anyhow. maybe if they give him some attention he’ll stop ripping rex on espn, in the name of love. if they feel they need a fifth qb for the competition then i guess thigpen would be a viable option but i think the bases are pretty well covered by mark, geno and greg. who’s on first?

      • TheJetPress

        Fair enough, I certainly wouldn’t be upset if they leave the competition at four.

    • TheJetPress

      Fair enough…..many people in my life think I am nuts LOL. All kidding aside, I see the point of leaving the competition as is.
      Truth be told, I have always wanted Chad Pennington to come back and coach the QBs, but he is not interested at all. They could still bring in a vet arm, and bring in a special assistant during camp too you know.