Tyrod Taylor could be the most important addition of the NY Jets offseason

The Jets can rely on Tyrod Taylor in 2024
Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The NY Jets made a host of important additions this offseason, bolstering a roster that had some genuine holes entering the start of the new year.

From a revamped offensive line to new key players like Haason Reddick and Mike Williams, the Jets hope these new additions will be able to carry the team to the postseason and beyond in 2024.

But one offseason addition stands out among the rest as one of the most underrated and important acquisitions. That player is someone the Jets hope doesn't even see the field for a meaningful snap this season.

The Jets signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a two-year, $12 million contract this past March with the expectation that he will serve as Aaron Rodgers' primary backup. More importantly, he will serve as a significant upgrade over the backup quarterbacks the Jets have trotted out in recent years.

Tyrod Taylor gives the NY Jets' quarterback room a much-needed insurance policy

The Jets haven't really prioritized the backup quarterback position during Joe Douglas' time with the organization. This is the same team that entered the 2021 season without a single quarterback who had ever played an NFL snap on their roster.

Rodgers' injury derailed plans in 2023, but it was the team's failure to properly address the backup QB spot in the offseason that ended their postseason hopes.

While the Jets still went 7-10 with a combination of Zach Wilson, Trevor Siemian, and Tim Boyle at quarterback, it's worth wondering just how far the Jets could've gone had they received even competent QB play, especially with the looming return of Rodgers toward the end of the year.

That's why the Jets sought to right their wrongs this offseason, bringing in one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL. Taylor gives the Jets exactly what they needed at that position.

With a career record of 28-28-1, Taylor has spent the last six years serving as one of the most valuable bridge/backup quarterbacks in football. He's been a veteran mentor, a fringe starter, and an important insurance policy — the latter is what his role will be with the Jets.

Rodgers will turn 41 during the 2024 season and is coming off a torn Achilles. He hasn't put together a fully healthy season since his final MVP year in 2021. The Jets would love to see him play 17 games this season, but it's not something they can count on.

That's where Taylor comes into play. Taylor isn't going to lead the Jets to a Super Bowl if Rodgers is forced to miss the entire season again. That isn't the point of adding an accomplished veteran backup QB.

Instead, Taylor is someone the Jets can trust to hold down the fort and keep the offense afloat if Rodgers misses a few games due to injury. Those few games could be the difference between a playoff berth and extending the organization's postseason drought in a loaded AFC.

It cannot be overstated how substantial of an improvement Taylor is over the host of terrible quarterbacks Jets head coach Robert Saleh has been forced to trot out.

The chart below depicts quarterback efficiency using two of the most important analytical metrics: EPA per play and CPOE (completion percentage over expected). Taylor's career average is depicted by the blue triangle, while the green square represents the average of all Saleh quarterbacks.

This is a Jets team that won seven games with the worst quarterback play in the NFL and an offensive line decimated by injuries. There will be unforeseen external variables in 2024, but the upgrade from Wilson/Siemian/Boyle to Taylor is more significant than many fans probably even realize.

Having a good backup quarterback is like having reliable insurance — you hope you never need it, but it's crucial when unexpected situations arise. Just as insurance provides peace of mind and security, a competent backup quarterback ensures your team stays competitive and resilient despite setbacks.

That's Tyrod Taylor's value to the Jets. It's very nice to have that peace of mind entering the 2024 season.

This article is part of the "Summer Spotlight" series on The Jet Press, dedicated to highlighting individual players on the Jets roster throughout the summer. Stay tuned for more features as we provide in-depth profiles and insights on various Jets players before the season kicks off.