Few NFL organizations have had as miserable of a quarterback history as the NY Jets. The Jets, as an organization, have managed to contend in the past, in spite of dreadful or painfully mediocre quarterback play.
It hasn't been since the great Joe Namath, however, that they've had a quarterback capable of carrying the team — a quarterback who elevates the offense and gives the Jets a legitimate chance to compete for a Super Bowl.
In reality, even mediocre quarterbacks have been hard to come by. Save for a brief flash of brilliance from Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015, it's been over two decades since the Jets have had a quarterback they could say was legitimately above average.
That notion is evident when looking at the team's single-season quarterback records. Josh Dubow of The Associated Press pointed out a fascinatingly bleak statistic on Saturday that puts the Jets' quarterback woes into perspective.
Dubow noted that only two organizations have not had a quarterback throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season since the NFL merger in 1970, the Jets and the Chicago Bears. Namath is the only Jets QB to surpass the 4,000-yard mark, and he did so with his 4,007-yard performance in 1967.
Fitzpatrick came oh so close in 2015 as he finished with 3,905 yards in what might very well be the best season by any Jets quarterback in franchise history. They've yet to have any player replicate that 4,000-yard feat since Namath, however.
There is optimism that the Jets can finally end that drought in 2023, especially with a (hopefully) proven commodity under center.
The NY Jets hope Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr could be their QB savior
A clear top two have emerged in the Jets' quarterback target pecking order. The Jets want Aaron Rodgers. If he isn't made available, they will likely pivot to Derek Carr. Both quarterbacks would immediately contend for the title of "best Jets QB since Namath."
Don't believe it? Just take a quick look at Carr's averages over the last four seasons, which doesn't even include the three consecutive Pro Bowls he made between 2015 and 2017.
Carr's average numbers over the last four seasons (not even his best seasons) would be the equivalent of one of the best seasons by any Jets quarterback in history. The 4,120 yards he's averaged per season over the last four years would be a new Jets record.
Meanwhile, only two Jets quarterbacks in history have completed over 66.8% of their passes in a single season: Chad Pennington and Josh McCown. Those 25 touchdowns would also be one shy of third all-time in franchise history.
That's just Carr we're talking about — and again, those aren't even his best years. It's probably not even worth comparing Aaron Rodgers' numbers to previous Jets quarterbacks because they would trump every single record, Namath's included.
The Jets have a golden opportunity to acquire one of the best quarterbacks in the history of their organization this offseason. They have two golden opportunities, in fact.
That 4,000-yard drought could finally be set to end if all goes according to plan and the Jets land one of their top quarterback targets.