For a small period of time, there was a glimmer of hope that the NY Jets might have stumbled into something great with Mike White. The former practice squad quarterback turned unlikely starter was riding a wave of momentum and a collection of very impressive performances.
His injury a few weeks back was a gut punch for a Jets team that had seemingly finally found consistent quarterback play, and his return this week was met with widespread enthusiasm and optimism.
But when the Jets needed him most, White faltered, and ultimately cut the team's season short. White wasn't the sole culprit for the Jets' embarrassing 23-6 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17, but he was a prominent one.
The Jets' season is effectively over, and as a result, White has likely played himself out of the team's 2023 quarterback plans.
Mike White will not be the NY Jets' starting quarterback in 2023
White's three starts against the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Buffalo Bills featured plenty of positives. The 27-year-old signal-caller was decisive, poised, and accurate, particularly when it came to the intermediate passing game.
White regularly connected with Jets receivers in tight windows over the middle of the field — something no other quarterback had been able to do this season.
But the Mike White we saw on Sunday looked nothing like the Mike White we had seen prior to his injury. He was erratic, gun-shy, and all over the place with his footwork and decision-making. In many ways, he looked like the guy he was called in to replace.
Were White's ribs bothering him? Probably. It's hard to imagine that White was 100 percent for Sunday's game, but that doesn't excuse his poor performance and it isn't going to change how the Jets view him this offseason.
White showed that he can be a more-than-capable spot starter and he's certainly proven that he's an NFL quarterback, but any hopes of him being a part of the future solution have disappeared.
General manager Joe Douglas knows that he's in a unique situation. It's rare that a GM receives multiple opportunities to fix the quarterback position, especially after failing so epically the first time.
Douglas isn't going to bank his job status on Mike White — it's just not going to happen. Not when the Jets will have much more attractive options in the near future. Douglas isn't going to choose White over the likes of Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, etc.
There was a scenario where White proved his worth and forced himself into the Jets' 2023 plans. If White helped the Jets win their final two games and make the postseason (and perhaps even win a playoff game), it would've been hard to ignore his accomplishments.
Instead, White's stinker of a game on Sunday effectively served as his swan song as a starter. The Jets may very well trot White out again in Week 18, but he'll no longer be auditioning for a starting gig in 2023.
White's true audition was this past weekend, and he failed in spectacular fashion.
The Jets' 2023 starting quarterback is not currently on the roster. Mike White made that abundantly clear with his performance in Week 17.