The New York Jets made the right decision when it came to keeping all four of their quarterbacks heading into the regular season.
In a move that might perplex many, the New York Jets decided to keep four quarterbacks on their final roster heading into 2016. It’s unorthodox in the grand scheme of things but for a franchise that has yet to have a consistent starting quarterback in place to lead this team to the NFL Playoffs consistently, it needed to happen.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is officially the starter, Geno Smith is his backup, Bryce Petty is in at No. 3, and taking the final spot on the depth chart is Christian Hackenberg. Ideally, Fitzpatrick is the main mentor of the group that was paid $12M on a one-year contract to hold the fort until one of the youngsters is ready to be a starter over the next year or two.
Smith is entering the final year of his contract and has much to prove if he plans to be an option after this season. The Jets knew that he’s the best backup on the team and compared to others across the NFL, does give the Jets a quality option to step in just in case something happens. If Fitzpatrick gets injured or doesn’t play up to expectations, Smith has the experience to step in and run the Jets’ offense effectively.
Petty showed some signs of progressing all throughout the preseason and unfortunately suffered a bruised shoulder injury in the finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s still a work in progress and should be ready to be considering an option to start as early as next year.
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Hackenberg, on the other hand, is a whole different story.
He showed exactly what everyone knew in that he has a long way to go before being an effective quarterback in the NFL.
Hackenberg looked lost and confused on the gridiron in preseason action but it was expected.
Don’t let it fool you, Hackenberg will be just fine as he rides the bench this upcoming season and learns from those around him.
Unlike Petty who could be ready by 2017, Hackenberg realistically is two to three years away from putting everything together and competing for a starting position. The Jets made a wise choice in keeping all four quarterbacks since there are no guarantees that Fitzpatrick or Smith will be around after this season is over.
For all we know, headlines next year for the starting quarterback position could come down to Petty vs Hackenberg as the youth movement could usher in a new era for 2017 and beyond on the most important position on the team.