Top 5 most realistic free agent quarterback options for Jets
By Genna Preston
Jan 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) prepares to pass the football against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Levis Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Over the next couple days, NFL free agents will be solicited, persuaded and signed to new teams throughout the league. The New York Jets need a veteran quarterback this season but, who will be the lucky winner?
The NFL 2017 free agency is finally here. Teams will be soliciting players and by Thursday we should see some interesting contracts come into play.
As reported by Darryl Slater of NJ.com, head coach Todd Bowles announced at his media conference that the Jets are looking into veteran quarterbacks that could be a bridge for the team until Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are ready to start.
“We’re looking into it,” Bowles said. “I can’t say we will or we won’t. But we have our eye on a few people.”
There has been a ton of speculation and rumors as to whom these players are. Yes, it would be great to sign an experienced quarterback like Tony Romo but, it’s just not a realistic move.
So what makes sense? Who should the Jets target in free agency? I have identified the top five most reasonable quarterbacks that could land themselves in New York next season. Without further ado, here are the top five most realistic free agent quarterback options.
Next: 5. Mike Glennon
Aug 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops back to throw during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 25-11. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
5. Mike Glennon
Mike Glennon isn’t my favorite quarterback option. However, it has been speculated that the Jets could be the new home for this backup quarterback.
My biggest complaint about Glennon is that he is a backup quarterback, and has only thrown 11 passes since 2014. He lost his starting role two seasons ago after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Jameis Winston.
When Fitzpatrick joined the Jets, he was a backup. He had one good year and then blew the 2016 season. If history repeats itself, let’s use him as an example. If that isn’t convincing enough, look at the Houston Texans who gave Brock Osweiler way too much money to bring the team nowhere!
Glennon could also come with a heavy price tag. His future contract could be as high as $15M; that’s an insane amount of money for someone who hasn’t played much. But, put all of that aside, signing Glennon offers the Jets some promising benefits.
Since his NFL debut in 2013, Glennon has 30 touchdowns and almost 85 percent pass completions with only 15 interceptions under his belt. He’s a great pocket passer, who is strong and can pass downfield. He could be a decent bridge quarterback if the Jets work with his existing talents, and strengthen his weaknesses. He could be what the Jets need while they develop Petty and Hackenberg a bit more.
Not the most cost effective for his talent but, the Jets seem to be interested in at least meeting with him. Especially after they showed interest in him last season but, didn’t want to agree to the overall trade agreement which included a first round pick.
Next: 4. Brian Hoyer
Oct 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) throws a pass during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Chicago won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
4. Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer is another player that might make you squirm thinking about him coming to the Jets. However, if his experiences come at a decent cost, it could just happen.
Hoyer was intended to be the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears prior to breaking his arm in Week 7. His season didn’t look too bad up until then. He completed 134-of-200 for a little under 1,450 yards. Hoyer had zero interceptions and six touchdowns. He knows the game and thinks quick on his feet.
He’s a veteran who has the experience to be an ideal bridge quarterback for Petty and Hackenberg. Not only do his experiences make him a realistic option but, he comes a lot cheaper than Glennon.
The Bears have suggested they are interested in re-signing Hoyer, so if the Jets or any team want to make a move during free agency, they better act quick. Because he is the ideal starting quarterback. In my opinion, Hoyer is a more realistic option than Glennon due to his contract needs and starting experience.
Next: 3. Josh McCown
3. Josh McCown
Josh McCown is another player who’s not high on my radar this free agency. But, McCown is a player the Jet should consider; offers realistic expectations as a bridge quarterback for the time being.
Although he only played five games this season, he has almost a 55 percent pass completion rate with six touchdowns. He averaged about 220 yards a game and has a little over 70 percent passer rate.
McCown has been passed around the NFL during his career. He has the adversity and experience that is needed on the Jets. Yes, his skills need improvement but, that’s what organized team activities and training camp are for. The only thing the Jets really need to consider is his age and durability. But, Fitzpatrick was around the same age as McCown when they gave him a chance.
He comes with a lower price tag than Glennon; in 2016 McCown’s base salary was under $5M. Other teams have shown interest in McCown, and are expected to react quickly once free agency opens. It will be a race for the veteran quarterback, that could offer something different to any team he signs with.
Next: 2. Tyrod Taylor
Dec 11, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) against the Pittsburgh Steelers at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
2. Tyrod Taylor
It takes a lot for me to admit that Tyrod Taylor is a good quarterback. He’s been a division rival quarterback, and I am not a huge fan. However, he would be a huge asset to the Jets, he has great potential and talent. Taylor has become one of my favorite overall quarterback options during free agency.
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The Buffalo Bills have until March 11, to decide whether they want to release Taylor. Should Taylor be released, the Jets need to make a move. He’s a dual-threat. He can play in the pocket as well as run the ball. He’s quick on his feet and understands the game.
The Jets also have a new offensive coordinator, John Morton. That could easily mean a new offense could be created around the strengths of a mobile, dual-threat kind of quarterback. Taylor would easily be a great fit in such a system.
Over his last two starting years, Taylor has 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has totaled over 6,000 yards with a little over 90 percent passer rating. Not only does he have the talents the Jets need but, he would make for a great mentor. He’s still young enough to put time and energy into and is experienced enough to teach Petty and Hackenberg some valuable techniques.
I believe the only the thing that would stop the Jets from signing Taylor would be his price tag. He comes around the same price, if not a bit more than Glennon. But, if they’re willing to give it to Glennon, then I say it give it to Taylor!
Next: 1. Colin Kaepernick
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first quarter against the New York Jets at Levi’s Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
1. Colin Kaepernick
My favorite quarterback option this free agency is by far Colin Kaepernick. Before you disregard this statement, just follow me on this one.
Kaepernick is a dual-threat quarterback. His first starting game in 2016, he had over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown. Kaepernick is one of those West Coast offense players who can teach the rookies a lot. He’s quick on his feet; he runs right up to the middle without hesitation. If running the ball isn’t an option, he also has a decent arm.
In 2016, he started in 16 games. He completed about 60 percent of his passes for a little under 2,250 yards. He totaled 16 touchdowns with only four interceptions. His passer rating is just about 90 percent. Last season, Kaepernick ranked second in red zone scoring.
Kaepernick is the overall package! He has also stated that he intends to stand this year during the national anthem, which suggests he will attempt to be out of the spotlight and focus on his career.
Next: Top 5 cornerbacks Jets should target in free agency
Bringing Kaepernick to the Jets would not only benefit Petty and Hackenberg but, it would be what the fans and organization need to get over the horrific 2016 season. Forget the dab, we’ll all be Kaepernicking by the end of the season.