From the slums of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg to the surprisingly talented and deep depth chart of Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Darnold…it has been the transformation of a lifetime for Gang Green at the quarterback position.
A culmination of moves has lead the Jets to this fruitful opportunity. Plan A for Mike Maccagnan and Company was to strongly pursue free agent Kirk Cousins. The Jets had a lot to offer on paper and in paper. Young talents like Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson were supposed to be extra incentive to the incentive of about 100 million to lure Cousins into the Meadowlands. As you all know Cousins chose the Vikings who were already coming off their best season in years and show a lot of promise for the foreseeable future.
But no panic from the Jets brass, Plan B was executed with the signing of Josh McCown. At the ripe age of 38, entering his 16th NFL season and his second consecutive as the assumed Jets starter, the Jets brought back McCown on an one year, ten million dollar deal that was intended to give him respect and set up the future Franchise QB. With the market being primarily consumed on other big name Free Agents, the Jets were able to scoop and sign a once coveted player in Teddy Bridgewater who was heavily overlooked due to his gruesome injury from two years ago.
GMs wondered if he would ever be the same, so they all passed on him, all except the one that matters most to Jets fans. This left the Jets with McCown. Bridgewater, Petty, and Hackenberg. A comfortable but uneasy disregard for the future in the eyes of the fans. Who would fall to six? Would the Jets opt to take the best player available again? The answer was no. Behind the scenes the Jets felt the same way, so they orchestrated a beautiful trade with Indy to acquire the number three overall pick, fast forward a month or so and they end up with the consensus #1 guy in Sam Darnold. Fast forward a little more and the Jets have cut ties with Bryce Petty who ended up with the Dolphins and have traded Hackenberg to the ever brilliant Jon Gruden for a conditional 7th rounder.
So, what do they all offer to the Jets?
They were literally hand picked by the current regime, no excuses can be made regarding talent. Josh McCown is a fill in starter for the time being. He also is a great leader and teacher. On the field, McCown has more ups than downs, this last season was his best year by miles and is unlikely to be matched again. For now, I think McCown is the starter until he either loses the job or gets his yearly injury.
Teddy Bridgewater is looking to put his injury history behind him. Bridgewater may end up being the most valuable person dawning hunter green very soon. NFL GMs who are QB needy might be willing to give a lot for a Bridgewater and the Jets are looking to recoup some of their lost picks from the Indy trade. But for the time being, Teddy H2O is on the roster and offers a lot. We don’t know exactly where his knee is at in regards to his past injury but most reports are saying it’s early but very promising. Teddy, pre injury, was a top 15 QB who was nearing his prime, if he can become even 75% of that the Jets are big winners.
Sam Darnold, killer of style, king of the gingers, and good looking in a tank top (buy a shirt) has been deemed the savior of the city but sits at the bottom of the depth chart. Darnold is clearly the most talented of the bunch and will get his time to shine if he proves he is ready, I am looking forward to seeing him and Bridgewater swap preseason looks, but for now he is to sit and learn from the 10 million dollar man.
Overall, I would like to believe the Jets have done a wonderful job. I do have some worst case scenario fears. Is it smart for the Jets to overpay a veteran with an extensive injury history to come and be the band aid? Only time will tell on that one. What if Teddy isn’t healthy? Where do we go for our number two? Do we cut ties with him or let him rehab some more? What if Sam has to step in early? Is it going to hurt his long term development? I don’t think anybody knows at this point, and like I said, these are worst case scenarios. Just something for you to think on while you’re grilling away on this wonderful Memorial Day.
Photo Credit: NFL.com