Heading into what should be an absolute frenzy in free agency, should the New York Jets avoid going after a top quarterback? There is a chance they might want to rather focus on finding their next franchise quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Ah yes, another offseason is here for the New York Jets and yeah, you guessed it! The Jets are once again in the market for a quarterback. Hopefully, one that they can build around for the next decade or so since their current options leave much to the imagination. At this point in time, Josh McCown is an unrestricted free agent, Bryce Petty showed no signs of being “the guy” the Jets envisioned him to be and nobody knows what Christian Hackenberg is capable of. Yeah, the biggest mistake the Jets made last season was not giving him a shot to at least show what he’s capable of.
Either way, the Jets will more than likely add a quarterback or two this offseason. How they do it remains to be seen but at the end of the day, they need someone new in the mix since their current options will probably bring more frustration than jubilation. With an estimated $100+ million of salary cap space, the Jets are expected to be big players in the free agency market.
But should the Jets use a huge chunk of their money on breaking the bank for a top free agent quarterback? Your guess is as good as mine but it wouldn’t be out of the question for general manager Mike Maccagnan to continue rebuilding the right way. Of course, the best teams that rebuilt their roster from the ground up did so via the NFL Draft.
The Jets currently own the No. 6 overall pick and have a lot of options and tough decisions to make. If they want to avoid a top free agent quarterback, like Kirk Cousins, for example, they could instead use their resources to address other key areas on their team. Remember, while the quarterback position is the most important of any football team, the Jets have major problems and gaps on their offensive line, offensive playmakers, and their overall pass rush.
The Jets have so many areas to address this offseason, they could potentially fix a good amount of them directly via free agency. But if they burn a lot of their salary cap money on a free agent quarterback, that might not be the best course of action for a team that is coming off their second straight 5-11 season.
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In the grand scheme of things, for a team like the Jets that haven’t had a franchise quarterback in decades, it’s common football sense to use their first-round pick on the best available player for the position. Heck, they might even want to trade up if they feel a particular quarterback is everything they want in a player and then some.
Remember, Cousins might be the best of the best if he hits free agency but even that is not guaranteed. The Redskins could franchise tag him or worse yet, he could hit the free agency market and decide to head to a different team. The Jets might have a lot of money but perhaps Cousins and other potential free agents might want to head to a better team that is just a piece or two away from being a playoff contender. Not everyone looks at a rebuilding team like the Jets, who are still far from being a contender, as an attractive team to head to, even if they have more money to offer.
Drafting a young, moldable, and potential franchise quarterback is ultimately the best way to finally address such an important need. Yeah, I’d rather see the Jets land Cousins in free agency and still draft a top quarterback but for all we know, Maccagnan might opt to address other areas of the team in free agency. Then he would use that No. 6 overall pick to finally draft a player that will bring consistent success from under center for years to come.