New York Jets – How Could Idzik Handle Quarterback?

TJ Rosenthal explores if the Jets could have any interest in quarterback Matt Flynn this off-season

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The Jets moved up in the 2009 draft in order to grab the exuberant USC Rose Bowl star Mark Sanchez. Since then the one-time emerging quarterback’s play has fallen rapidly. Sanchez has time to be rehabilitated emotionally, but new Jets GM John Idzik may already have another plan in mind. One that includes giving the starting job to Matt Flynn, a player that Idzik helped bring to Seattle in 2011.

Flynn signed with the Seahawks in March of 2012. After two monstrous late season games in 2010 as Packers starter (while Green Bay rested god-like starter Aaron Rdogers for the playoffs). When he excited many teams who were in need of a quarterback, by throwing for a combined nine TD passes in eight quarters of play. Results that led to a three year twenty five million dollar deal for himself, to become the future in Seattle. One of those places in need of a fresh start from behind center.

Then all of a sudden the future of the NFL became something called the “run option.” Used by teams this past year such as the Seahawks and Redskins, who featured young athletic signal callers capable of spearheading it. With Russell Wilson (who shocked many by winning the job from Flynn in training camp) now firmly entrenched behind center for Pete Carroll’s club, many Jets fans are already wondering if Idzik is interested once again in the also-pricey Flynn.

Flynn or no Flynn, Sanchez is now on thin ice as a Jet. The Daily News is already suggesting that the Jets will explore the notion of trading Sanchez, if there is a market for him. Releasing him would work heavily against the Jets cap, but it remains an option. Successful teams do at times take financial hits in order to turn emotional pages inside of their locker rooms.

Could a Sanchez for Flynn deal be in the works with Idzik now at the controls? The answer could lie in part within the vision of Marty Mornhinweg, who was named the Jets new offensive coordinator today. Mornhinweg has called the plays for the Eagles for the past six years. He has worked alongside a mobile quarterback in Donovan McNabb, a run-first QB in Michael Vick, and a pocket passer in Nick Foles. Having seen all three style first hand, the new Jets play caller may lend a valuable hand in leading Idzik towards a direction that will serve the Jets best going forward.

If both elusive speed and arm strength is what Idzik now covets after seeing Wilson succeed as a rookie, Flynn will not be the right fit. He is clearly not as mobile as players like Wilson, Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaeperick are at the position, and his arm strength will never be considered among the elite.

However Flynn’s efficiency in the west coast style, proven briefly in Mike McCarthy’s system, could potentially make him a vast upgrade over Sanchez. Whose QB rating was ranked 30th in 2011 and 31st in 2012. Justifying a move to a player Flynn who could provide stability in the short passing game as a short term transition makes sense on some level, even if it were not the long term solution for Idzik’s new organization at the position.

If a deal that involved Flynn meant moving Sanchez came to fruition, the result would sadden any diehards who still believe that Sanchez had the ability to become a franchise quarterback. Had he been surrounded by the right talent, and developed properly by many ex-coaches. Whose failure to do so played a part in their respective firings.

It won’t be long before the fate of Sanchez and the mystery of who will be the starter, is addressed. As the process of rebuilding the Jets flawed roster finally begins. Matt Flynn’s name will certainly surface regularly as part of that conversation. From now until a choice by Idzik and the Jets is made.