The NY Jets’ signing of Joe Flacco means a variety of things for the team
Flacco will need some time to rehab from offseason neck surgery, but upon his return he figures to be one of the most experienced and effective backups in the entire league.
And for a Jets team that has experienced their fair share of woes with their backup quarterbacks in recent years, it’s a breath of fresh air.
Flacco’s prior connection with Jets general manager Joe Douglas undoubtedly helped the two sides reach an agreement and it’s likely in the best interest of everyone that a deal was able to get done.
Well, almost everyone.
The signing of Joe Flacco will have a variety of effects on both the Jets’ roster and their players. Most of those effects will be positive, but his addition could be bad news for a select player or two in the organization.
With that, let’s take a look at the top three takeaways from the signing of the Jets’ newest quarterback.
Next: 3. David Fales isn't long for New York
3. David Fales isn’t long for New York
Even following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft, the belief was that veteran David Fales had the edge in what was expected to be a preseason roster battle between himself and fourth-round rookie James Morgan.
Of course, rumors swirled that the Jets were rightfully not content with Fales as their primary backup and the signing of Flacco solidifies that notion.
Now, Fales looks to be a longshot to secure a roster spot.
But the soon-to-be 30-year-old has played in just five career games and has never started a game. Opting to roll with Fales as the team’s top backup in 2020 would have been asking for a repeat of 2019.
Fales was re-signed to a one-year, $910,000 contract in the offseason, but just $100,000 of it is guaranteed. That likely means that the San Jose State product will be the odd-man-out.
Provided Flacco is healthy and ready for Week 1, he’ll be the team’s top backup. And the Jets likely aren’t going to risk stashing their fourth-round pick, Morgan, on the practice squad — especially with expanded rosters.
The Jets will, in all likelihood, carry three quarterbacks. But Fales? His only shot of making a roster would be in case of injury, much like last season.
Next: 2. James Morgan isn't ready yet
2. James Morgan isn’t ready yet
When the Jets drafted FIU quarterback James Morgan in the fourth round of this year’s draft, the decision caught may by surprise. After all, was it really worth spending a fourth-round pick on a player you hope never sees the field?
Nonetheless, the Jets were considerably high on the young QB and decided to go against traditional norms and make him the pick anyway.
Still, Morgan is a project and there was an overwhelming consensus that he wouldn’t be ready to assume the No. 2 quarterback role just yet. The signing of Flacco all but confirms that.
Morgan was expected to compete with Fales for the primary backup job in training camp — a job he had every chance of winning so long as he showed enough polish in the preseason. However, don’t expect him to provide Flacco much competition.
With the veteran quarterback expected to be held out for much of training camp and the preseason — assuming they start on time — Morgan won’t really have much of a chance to pass him on the depth chart.
Instead, Morgan seems locked into the third-string role until further notice.
Obviously the Jets plan on Morgan being the long-term answer at the backup quarterback position — hence why they used a pretty high pick on him. But the former FIU standout still has issues with his decision-making and ball placement.
He’s a project — and one that’s clearly not ready for the primary backup role yet.
Next: 1. The NY Jets have their best QB room in years
1. The NY Jets have their best QB room in years
Perhaps lost in the shuffle of a busy offseason is the fact that the Jets now have one of their more complete quarterback rooms in what feels like forever.
Sure the additions made along the offensive line and in the secondary will likely have a much larger impact, but the Jets have seemingly solidified a position that has given them many headaches over the past decade or two.
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Sam Darnold is the unquestioned starter who, with a little help from his supporting cast and coaching staff, has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL.
Behind him is the experienced Joe Flacco who will not only serve as Darnold’s mentor, but provide the Jets with an excellent contingency plan in case something were to happen to their starter again.
And finally, there’s the young James Morgan who will be the team’s developmental project this season. The player that the Jets are grooming to be their long-term backup whose intelligence and character have been praised by countless analysts.
Three players with three defined roles. It feels like forever since the Jets have gone into a season with that — and it’s certainly a welcome change.
For once, the Jets appear to have a complete quarterback room with no glaring issues to worry about.
And that alone makes the Flacco signing an excellent move.