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Should the Jets release a quarterback?

By Luis Tirado Jr.
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 17-23. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 17-23. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets have a very good situation at quarterback but the question remains, should they keep all four or consider releasing one due to roster implications?

Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first preseason game of the year, the New York Jets took care of business. Defeating the Jaguars 17-13 in front of the home crowd at MetLife Stadium was a great sight to see as coaches and fans in attendance got to see players fighting for roster spots.

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Currently on the depth chart at quarterback, it’s looking like it’ll be Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and the third spot possibly up for grabs between Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. The Jets haven’t really said they will keep all four quarterbacks and it’s highly unlikely they’ll part ways with anyone due to the instability they might have at the position in 2016.

If Fitzpatrick gets injured or starts the regular season on a bad note, Smith is a more than capable backup to step right in and execute the Jets’ offense well. Considering he’s never had the kind of supporting cast on offense the Jets currently have, could surprise many this upcoming season.

Now, between Petty and Hackenberg, it wouldn’t make sense to release either of them as they’re both draft picks with plenty of upside. Out of the two, Petty has so far come along well and even though he’s had some growing pains, it just wouldn’t make any football sense to release him now after just one year.

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The same can be said about Hackenberg who was drafted by the Jets fully knowing he’s a major work in progress.

Hackenberg is the kind of quarterback that has had success in the past but needs major re-tooling to take his career to the pro level.

It won’t be easy but for the Jets, a team that hasn’t had a stable franchise quarterback in what seems like forever, should keep all four quarterbacks heading into the regular season.

While it’s not the ideal situation since having four quarterbacks on the active roster means taking a spot away from somewhere else on the team, it absolutely must be done.

The Jets need to continue cultivating their young group of quarterbacks so come 2017, they can have a real competition to see who the next starting quarterback is. Since Fitzpatrick is only signed for 2016 and Smith is entering the final year of his contract, there is no guarantee either of them will be back in 2017.

A great situation for the Jets would be to see by then, what a real competition between Petty against Hackenberg would be like with the starting job on the line. Then it would also make sense under that situation for the Jets to go after any available veteran quarterback and see what these youngsters can do after a ton of coaching, training and mentoring.

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Overall, it just wouldn’t make sense for the Jets to release any quarterback heading into the regular season. All the best teams in the NFL have one thing in common as they win a lot of football games thanks to having an established franchise quarterback under center. The Jets historically have had a terrible past when it comes to developing quarterbacks the right way as they also dropped the bomb with Smith when he first got drafted. This time around though with Petty and Hackenberg in the mix, they’re being developed well for hopefully bright futures with the Jets.

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