Unless you live under a rock, you know the Jets have a full blown QB conundrum on their hands. What I will call the first hiccup in the Mike Maccagnan regime, the Jets allowed their QB who broke almost all of the team records for the position to hit the open market. Now granted, Maccagnan gets all the credit for bringing in Fitzpatrick for a 6th round pick last year but he clearly misread the free agent QB market allowing Fitz to become a free agent. While I know it was hard for anyone to foresee the money Bradford and Osweiler were able to fleece from the Eagles and Texans respectively, I feel the Jets should have made signing Fitzpatrick a top priority. This really should have been a no brainer. The player wants to come back and the team wants him. I think the Jets took it for granted that a deal would just happen between the two teams. While it is still most likely to happen, it was a risk that should have been foreseen and addressed.
While I maintain my position that Fitz is the best fit at QB for the current Jets roster, let’s take a look at all their options.
Option 1: Ryan Fitzpatrick
This is just logical.. he is clearly a fit for the system and the team on the field. The question is can the two sides make a contract fit? I like the stance the Jets have taken. I would not over pay Fitz based on his age. I think the two sides will eventually agree on a contract. Both sides have a lot to lose. Fitz clearly has not been offered anything close to what he is asking the Jets in terms of money and a starting job and the Jets have a veteran team in a win now scenario that needs a seasoned QB.. If I am the Jets, my walk away numbers are 2 years at 20 million with 12million in guarantees (full guarantee in 2016, 2 million guarantee in 2017).
Option 1a: Geno Smith
Don’t shrug this off. He is a cheap option, he has starter experience and just last season the Jets brass thought he was the clear cut starter over Fitz. Not to mention he is in a contract year and probably playing for his career. Not an ideal situation but not crazy.
Option 2: Mike Glennon
In terms of a long term fit for the team, I love Glennon. I think he is a starter in the league and I think he has a high ceiling. His career stats over 19 games on BAD Buccs teams are pretty solid. Career stats (19 games) 29 TD 15 INT 4,025 yards, 58.8 comp % on a 2013/2014 Buccs team with no offensive line and Bobby Rainey as his #1 back (2013) and Tim Wright #2 in receptions (2013)... What is there not to like? This Jets team does not lack offensive talent and I think Glennon could flourish. The trick is obtaining him. He is in the last year of his rookie deal and if Tampa lets him walk next year they will be awarded a compensatory pick of most likely a 3rd round pick for 2017. If I am the Jets, I would give a 3 this year for him in a snap of a finger. There could also be a scenario where a trade involving Wilkerson could work here. In that scenario, the Jets would need to get a pick back with Glennon to make it work.
Option 3: Josh McCown
RG3 is now a Brown and it is likely the Browns could also draft a QB early in the draft. If that’s the case McCown could be someone the Jets could get in a similar trade to the one the made for Fitz last year. McCown, like Fitz is a journeyman QB that is a “hold the fort” type of player. McCown would also come with some built in chemistry with Marshall and Forte being former teammates with the Bears.
Option 4: Brian Hoyer
With Brock rolling around in $19 million in Houston, it is logical to think that Brian Hoyer has seen his last days as a Texan. This move would be a move similar to the one I suggested for McCown. Frankly, if I am the Jets I would rather start Geno than Hoyer. None the less Hoyer could be an option.
Option 5: Draft a QB
I feel this is something the Jets should do regardless of how the position shakes out with a trade or free agency. I have always liked the Ron Wolf approach of drafting a QB at some point in the draft every season and I think Maccagnan will do just that. I would not expect the Jets to use a top pick on a QB. But in late rounds... Why not? It’s the most important position in the sport why not make it the most competitive on your team?