FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — For two instantly offseasons, the New York Jets loved the ordinary luxurious (for them) of now not having to fret concerning the quarterback place. Sam Darnold used to be their man, and there used to be each reason why to consider he will be the man for a very long time.
Then the 2020 NFL season took place. Darnold performed poorly. He were given harm. The crew stunk. The trainer were given fired. Now, with multiple avenues with which to fortify the location, Jets officers are refusing to decide to Darnold as their starter for 2021. We nonetheless love you, Sam, however …
“To provide you with that resolution presently would now not be truthful,” Jets trainer Robert Saleh mentioned at his introductory information convention. “There’s a large number of discussions that want to be had with Joe [Douglas] and his personnel.”
Douglas, the overall supervisor, has 3 months to get to the bottom of essentially the most vexing factor dealing with the group. In a vacuum, the Darnold determination could be tricky sufficient, however it’s difficult via what might be the wildest offseason for quarterback motion in fresh reminiscence.
Several stars, maximum particularly Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, might be converting addresses. There are various levels of uncertainty surrounding the Green Bay Packers‘ Aaron Rodgers and the Los Angeles Rams‘ Jared Goff. The upside for the Jets is it is usually a purchaser’s marketplace for trades. The drawback is that they might be dealers, too; they won’t get as a lot for Darnold in the event that they come to a decision to transport on.
The Jets could be committing organizational malpractice if they did not significantly believe possible choices to Darnold, who threw 9 landing passes (12 video games) in a season that noticed essentially the most in league historical past (871). New York cannot merely blame it on former trainer Adam Gase and run it back with Darnold with out exploring the panorama.
A breakdown of essentially the most viable quarterback options for the Jets, score them in keeping with our choice:
Mike Greenberg sees indicators that Deshaun Watson would possibly wish to be traded to the Jets, and Dan Graziano breaks down the chance he will be traded there.
1. Deshaun Watson, Texans
Current standing: Requested industry
Pros: It’s a unprecedented alternative to get a valid franchise quarterback in his top; he is 25 and already has been decided on to 3 Pro Bowls. He could be ideally suited within the Jets’ new offense, a West Coast gadget that emphasizes the power to throw at the run. His mere presence would instill hope within the group, and it’s laborious to position a value on that. Make this industry and the Jets would have their maximum promising trainer-quarterback tandem in a very long time.
Cons: The reimbursement might be large. Conventional knowledge suggests it would take 3 first-spherical selections after which some. In their 2009 industry for Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears gave up two first-spherical selections, a 3rd-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton — and Cutler wasn’t as regards to Watson. One factor to bear in mind: The Jets’ most sensible select (No. 2 total) is value two-and-a-part instances up to, say, the 16th select, in keeping with the repeatedly used industry-price chart. By giving up the citadel for Watson, the Jets could be at a drawback in looking to construct round him.
Cap have an effect on: Watson is signed thru 2025, with wage-cap fees that vary from $10.five million (2021) to $37 million (2023). Considering the marketplace, it’s now not an outrageous contract. I’m informed the Jets are not his No. 1 selection, as a up to date record out of South Florida mentioned, however it’s nonetheless imaginable he may just come with them on a listing of most well-liked groups. Watson’s no-industry clause permits him to keep watch over the place he finally ends up — if the Texans come to a decision to transport him.
Eye-popping stat: Watson completed 3rd in finishing touch proportion (70.2) regardless of averaging 9.zero air yards in line with strive (tied for fourth), in line with NFL Next Gen Stats.
Current standing: Draft-eligible
Pros: Coming off an excellent junior season, Wilson has risen such a lot that he’s now thought to be via many ability evaluators to be the most efficient quarterback prospect now not named Trevor Lawrence. Wilson is a extremely professional passer with super zip and lengthy-ball accuracy. He strikes really well, showing the power to make off-agenda performs out of doors the pocket. He, too, could be a perfect scheme have compatibility for the Jets. From a large-image perspective, Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur may just start contemporary with their very own quarterback. Capwise, they might reset with a rookie contract, giving them value sure bet thru 2024.
Cons: The issues are his damage historical past and degree of pageant. After his freshman season, Wilson underwent surgical treatment on his throwing shoulder to fix a labrum. As a sophomore (2019), he neglected time after surgical treatment on his throwing hand. Some ponder whether his much less-than-implementing frame (6-foot-3, 210 kilos) can resist the weekly punishment of the NFL. He racked up spectacular stats at BYU, however his numbers in opposition to ranked groups have been pedestrian — a 2-four report, with 1,569 yards, 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Cap have an effect on: The NFL has a slotted gadget for novices, so his contract could be very similar to that of final 12 months’s No. 2 total select, Chase Young of the Washington Football Team — 4 years, $34.6 million. That is inexpensive and would give you the flexibility to construct different spaces of the roster.
Eye-popping stat: Wilson threw 3 interceptions in 336 makes an attempt in 2020, and some of the selections got here on a Hail Mary.
3. Sam Darnold, Jets
Current standing: Incumbent
Pros: He’s nonetheless younger (turns 24 in June) and nonetheless hasn’t had the good thing about enjoying with a powerful supporting solid. In 3 seasons, Darnold has had nearly no operating recreation. Saleh has spoken extremely of Darnold, and he isn’t blowing smoke. He believes there is untapped possible that may be extracted with higher training and a scheme alternate. Darnold could be a excellent have compatibility in LaFleur’s quarterback-pleasant gadget, which makes use of play-motion, misdirection and shifting wallet.
Cons: Darnold nonetheless is not adept at studying defenses; he will get into hassle as a result of he on occasion does not see past his No. 1 learn and the main defender. No doubt, he has room to develop, however fresh historical past tells us it’s uncommon for quarterbacks to make a quantum jump after 3 or 4 years within the league. Darnold used to be the bottom-rated passer in 2020 (72.7). Let’s say he improves to the 15-20 vary. Can the Jets reside with that? Is that well worth the lengthy-time period contract extension he would search after the ’21 season? There’s additionally a sturdiness query; he has neglected 10 video games in 3 years on account of damage and sickness.
Cap have an effect on: He has twelve months ultimate on his rookie contract ($9.eight million cap fee). The Jets have till early May to decide on his 5th-12 months choice for 2022 (about $25 million, totally assured). It makes little sense to make that more or less dedication in keeping with his frame of labor, so we are most certainly speaking a couple of one-12 months audition in 2021. If he sputters, he most certainly walks as a unfastened agent, and the Jets will have to package deal their two first-spherical selections in 2022 to discover a substitute. If Darnold excels, it manner a profitable new deal.
Eye-popping stat: Darnold recorded the 5th-perfect finishing touch proportion (92.3) when underneath no force and throwing to vast-open receivers (no less than Three yards separation), in line with NFL Next Gen Stats. That’s what you name optimum prerequisites.
Mel Kiper Jr. outlines who might be the second one quarterback decided on within the 2021 NFL draft and the way it would have an effect on Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
Current standing: Draft-eligible
Pros: There’s certainly about his arm ability; it used to be on complete show in his six-landing efficiency in opposition to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Fields is also a quick and elusive runner, including any other size to the offense. Bottom line: He’s a playmaker. In two seasons at Ohio State, he produced 84 touchdowns — 69 passing, 15 dashing. He’d be a dynamic choice on the quarterback place, which the Jets have not had in … possibly ever.
Cons: Fields does not appear herbal when he is within the pocket going thru his progressions. If his No. 1 learn is roofed, he has a tendency to carry the ball as a substitute of shifting briefly to No. 2. He were given away with it in faculty as a result of his number one vast receivers typically have been open, however that may not be the case within the NFL. For this reason why, it would possibly take him longer than Wilson to expand. He struggled in opposition to Indiana, Northwestern and Alabama, so what is going to occur in opposition to a Bill Belichick-coached protection?
Cap have an effect on: See Wilson’s access, as it is identical.
Eye-popping stat: Fields ranked 3rd in finishing touch proportion (61.3) amongst Power five quarterbacks on throws of no less than 20 air yards, in line with ESPN Stats & Information. Wilson used to be 2d (62.3%), at the back of Stanford’s Davis Mills (64.7%).
Current standing: Expected not to go back
Pros: He’s not so good as Watson and he is seven-plus years older than the Houston big name, however Stafford is excellent sufficient to take a crew to the playoffs. Playing on unhealthy Detroit groups, he has averaged 25 landing passes and 10 interceptions in his previous 3 complete seasons. He could be an important improve over Darnold.
Cons: He turns 33 on Feb. 7, so the Jets are not an excellent have compatibility. They want to assume long run, now not win-now — and Stafford is a win-now quarterback. The Lions will search no less than a primary-spherical select. The Jets have the No. 23 total variety, however it does not make sense to phase with that more or less reimbursement for a quarterback who’s nearer to the top of his occupation than the start.
Cap have an effect on: Stafford has two years ultimate on his contract for $43 million, none of it assured. (A $10 million roster bonus is due March 21.) He most certainly gets a brand new deal from the crew that trades for him.
Eye-popping stat: He had the 7th-perfect passer ranking (100.2) on move makes an attempt by which the finishing touch chance (move issue) used to be 25% to 50%, in keeping with NFL Next Gen Stats.