One of the bonuses of being patient and letting the market dictate itself before you jump in on free agency is that you are able to take advantage of opportunities that aren’t there at the beginning. When free agency started, the QB market was Mike Glennon, Brian Hoyer, and Colin Kaepernick. As of today, the market includes Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, and Chase Daniel. The Jets are not expected to be in on Romo, have expressed interest in Cutler, but is Daniel the best option aside from re-signing Geno Smith?
It’s depressing to think that a 30 year old career backup with 79 pass attempts is the best option not named Smith, but it’s true. Daniel spent two years with new Offensive Coordinator John Morton in New Orleans when Morton coached the wide receivers and it is this connection that makes him a logical candidate. He’s also spent time learning QB from Sean Payton and Drew Brees, Andy Reid and Alex Smith, and Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz.
While he doesn’t have the arm that would set the world on fire, he has displayed accuracy in the short and intermediate game during his limited action. He is more mobile than given credit for, and he has been competent reading defenses. He’s also improved his wind up, which was concerning coming out of Missouri and their spread offense, so it’s not as long as it was when he first entered the league. As a veteran placeholder that you need competent QB play from and who won’t turn the ball over like the QB you had previously, Daniel makes some sense.
Daniel has asked for his release, but I would definitely explore whether a trade of Sheldon Richardson for Chase and a day 2 pick can be pulled off. The contracts match, and being able to get your potential 2017 starting QB and bridge to Christian Hackenberg plus an extra draft pick while getting rid of a guy that you’re not going to pay and clearly don’t know how to use is a win for the Jets. If they closed this deal and added Dont’a Hightower, the Jets would then just need to add a cornerback (they’ve expressed interest in the awful Brandon Carr) and they can head into the draft with each of their needs with either an improvement or a bandaid. It’d be good work by Mike Maccagnan after waiting the first wave patiently.
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