If it’s one thing we can almost always expect out of the New York Jets on a consistent basis is one big question mark when it comes to their quarterback position. While the jury is out in that quarterback Geno Smith surely can’t start next season, he still has a chance to keep his starting spot next season if he proves himself come training camp time. With a veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, a third-string quarterback in Matt Simms and now the recently drafted Bryce Petty, who has the best shot at truly being under center come next season?
Smith’s window of opportunity to prove his critics wrong in that he can indeed be a franchise quarterback is running out of time. If Smith should falter this upcoming season if he is the Jets’ starting quarterback, that could be the end of his tenure with the Jets.
In his two seasons so far with Gang Green, Smith has contributed 5,571 yards for 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. Needless to say, he’s a turnover machine that hasn’t really evolved to the point where he doesn’t make silly decisions when throwing he football.
It’s no secret that out of the bunch, Fitzpatrick is the most proven winner. As a journeyman, he’s a reliable quarterback with a high football IQ that is capable of doing anything he’s asked to do. Even though he’s coming back from a broken leg injury suffered last season, he has the best chance at beating Smith and being named starter next season.
With the Texans last season, Fitzpatrick contributed 2,483 yards for 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. As a starter, he went 6-6 with the Texans and ended with a 95.3 overall rating. He at the current moment would be the best option to start at quarterback over anyone on the roster.
Simms continues to be a practice squad kind of quarterback which usually every team has one for. He hasn’t shown any promise of even cracking being more than a backup quarterback since he’s pretty raw and doesn’t have the required skill-set to get the job done consistently.
If he couldn’t crack an opportunity to be a starting option for the Jets when Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow were battling it out a few years ago, what makes anyone think he can do it this time around? His roster spot is in jeopardy since the Jets drafted Petty to see if maybe, just maybe, they can find a diamond in the rough and a quality future solution at quarterback.
Petty has all the attributes needed to one day become a starting quarterback. In his collegiate career at Baylor, Petty contributed 8,195 yards for 62 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He will need some work in transitioning to the NFL but he’s the perfect work-in-progress candidate to hopefully one day earn a starting position with the Jets.Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Bryce Petty of Baylor (14) throws a pass on the run against the South squad in the fourth quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North won, 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
It won’t happen anytime soon though in Petty’s case heading into next season. Unless he has a spectacular showing come training camps, it’s highly doubtful he will surface as the clear-cut option to start for the Jets.
Out of all options considered, as long as he recovers from his leg injury and plays like he has in the past, Fitzpatrick is easily the frontrunner in dethroning Smith as the starting quarterback come next season.
In an article written by New York Daily News very own Manish Mehta, head coach Todd Bowles has stated that Smith is the starting quarterback headed into training camps this summer. For what it’s worth, it’s his job to lose until someone can dethrone him to give the Jets an even more much-improved look this upcoming season. Especially with their past history of offensive struggles.