Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passes before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets need to add a veteran quarterback as insurance for next season. Here are the top five to consider that would be valuable in 2017.
Make no mistake about it, the New York Jets can’t head into next season with just two young quarterbacks on the roster. At this point in time, the Jets have two quarterbacks in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg under contract for 2017.
With a relatively small sample size from 2016, it’s hard to tell if Petty is ready to be a franchise quarterback. The football world didn’t even see Hackenberg at all since the Jets want to develop him slowly, hence why he was redshirted in 2016 and got all of his experience from the sideline and practice.
The best scenario for the Jets would be to simply build around Petty for 2017. The Jets won’t know for sure if he’s ready to lead this franchise to glory unless they give him a real opportunity to play as a starter in a full season.
Hackenberg should have learned enough to at least be a decent backup come next season. Above all else, the Jets need to provide both young quarterbacks with a veteran presence that can help them all along the way. Someone to train, coach, and mentor them with every touchdown, interception, and how to adjust properly during key points of a football game.
This is all assuming the Jets decide to not bring back quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith this offseason. Without further ado, here are the top five veteran quarterbacks that make the most sense and that won’t break the bank for the Jets.
Next: 5. Shaun Hill
Sep 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill (13) drops back to pass against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Vikings won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
5. Shaun Hill
With over a decade of experience in the NFL, quarterback Shaun Hill would be a solid acquisition by the Jets. Not only could he step in and help out when needed, but his leadership presence would be great around both Petty and Hackenberg.
As an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Hill won’t be seeking a big contract or even a long-term deal. The Jets should be able to afford him given their tight salary cap situation and at least keep him around for a year or two.
Considering the quarterback situation with the Minnesota Vikings, it’s expected they will keep Sam Bradford and even Teddy Bridgewater, making Hill expendable. Of course, there is no telling how Bridgewater will be given his unfortunate injury last year, but Hill will more than likely hit free agency.
He would be a great mentor for both quarterbacks on the Jets and teach them so much on game management and overcoming adversity. The Jets don’t need anyone flashy, just an insurance policy with a plethora of experience to help those around him grow.
Next: 4. Matt Schaub
Oct 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub (8) during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Falcons defeated the Broncos 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
4. Matt Schaub
As an unrestricted free agent in 2017, quarterback Matt Schaub is another good quarterback that would be a solid fit with the Jets. Playing for 13 seasons in the NFL, Schaub is a journeyman who enjoys small deals that don’t keep him locked up on a team for long periods of time.
He’s signed one-year contracts the past few years with both the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons for simply his veteran experience and ability to be a game manager. If the Jets decide to go back to a ground and pound offense, Schaub would be a solid quarterback should he have to suit up.
Hopefully, new offensive coordinator John Morton can get the most out of the Jets offense since the potential is definitely there. It would be hard for this team to launch a more passing-oriented playbook so quickly but if they stick to establishing the run, they could actually be somewhat competitive come next season.
Schaub’s experience is another plus and should be one of the criteria for a potential veteran quarterback that’s worth adding to the roster. Again, the Jets shouldn’t waste top money on a free agent quarterback this offseason since plenty of inexpensive options like Schaub are simply going to want deals in situations like the Jets have.
Next: 3. Matt Cassel
3. Matt Cassel
As another unrestricted free agent this offseason, quarterback Matt Cassel would be a solid option for the Jets. Not only has he played under quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Alex Smith, and even Marcus Mariota, but he has over a decade’s worth of experience.
He’s been a decent starter and a quality backup to have throughout his career that knows how to handle his role. Again, the Jets need quarterbacks that won’t come in and try to cause issues, but more so, build a culture of training for the young guys around them.
It’s hard to tell just what kind of impact Cassell had most recently with Mariota but he undoubtedly must have given him some advice during practices and meetings. That’s the kind of backup the Jets need in case things don’t go so well with Petty and/or Hackenberg.
Cassel will more than likely be seeking a short-term deal and won’t break the bank for the Jets. Considering the fact that he also has some experience in the NFL Playoffs, would be great to have as a mentor.
Next: 2. Bruce Gradkowski
Aug 12, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (5) looks to throw a pass against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Heinz Field. Detroit won the game, 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers might have some issues to resolve at quarterback this offseason. There is no guarantee Ben Roethlisberger will return and Bruce Gradkowski is an unrestricted free agent. It’s doubtful the Steelers will bring him back since he tore his ACL late last summer.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
The Jets shouldn’t bring in any free agent quarterback and just give them a starting position. It’s best to run an open competition and let both Petty and Hackenberg play it out. Should the Jets bring in Gradkowski to the mix, he’d be mostly depth and someone to help the others continue their development.
To fit the vision the Jets need, it shouldn’t be expected for them to have to resort to Gradowski to start at any point in 2017. Of course, injuries and a steep decline in play could happen but at the end of the day, the Jets simply need an inexpensive veteran quarterback to teach the basics on how to succeed.
The Jets don’t have a ton of salary cap room so Gradkowski should come at a very decent price. He’s another journeyman quarterback that makes sense for a team that wants to push young quarterbacks to see what they’re made of.
Next: 1. Brian Hoyer
Oct 20, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
1. Brian Hoyer
In the grand scheme of things, quarterback Brian Hoyer makes a whole lot of sense for the Jets. He’s had pretty decent success for the most part but injuries and inconsistency tend to define him. But his eight years of experience and the fact that he can get the job done for the most part would be a solid addition to the Jets.
Hoyer will be an unrestricted free agent this season as it’s likely the Chicago Bears won’t bring him back since they’ll be in the market for a better quarterback. The Jets, on the other hand, just need a veteran option that will be there for their young gunslingers and worst case scenario can play well if need be.
Quite honestly, Hoyer didn’t do so bad with the Bears last season as he actually became the first quarterback in their franchise history to throw for at least 300+ yards in four consecutive games. In all of 2016, Hoyer threw for six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
That’s better than anything the Jets had last season and even if the Jets could secure him for a one or two-year deal, would be the best veteran quarterback to consider this offseason. The Jets would get someone who can deliver and also be of huge help. He’s a low-key guy that has an incredible work ethic and well, would be better than anyone else out that that fits the kind of veteran role the Jets need at quarterback.