New York Jets Pre-Free Agency/Draft Roster Breakdown – Quarterback

Cole Patterson breaks down the New York Jets quarterbacks before Free Agency and the Draft

Before you know it, your favorite NFL team will undergo a dramatic facelift and hypothetically improve their prospects for the 2014 season. Don’t forget, however, the 2013 rosters are still set and old faces will play just as important roles as the new ones. As of today there are four days until NFL Free Agency and the start of the new league year. So, each day, we at TOJ will address a new position group and where there will be change. Today, quarterback.

2013 New York Jets Depth Chart:

  • Geno Smith- Under contract through 20156
  • Mark Sanchez – Under contract through 2016, expected cap casualty
  • Matt Simms – Under contract for 2014
  • David Garrard – Unrestricted Free Agent

As Currently Constituted: The Jets struggles at quarterback over the years have been well documented. Last season was no exception. After Sanchez won the training camp battle (apparently by default), Smith was handed the reins. With Garrard in no shape to step in (with some Favre-esque retiring) Geno was thrust into the spotlight.

Some have taken to calling Smith’s inaugural season the “Geno-Coaster,” an appropriate name. He showed some stellar play (Buffalo and Atlanta) and some terrible play (Dolphins and Bengals). It seemed that every other week a different man would show up. However, after being benched in a 23-3 drudging from the Dolphins, Smith responded by stringing together a solid quarter season of play.

Keeping it In House:

The Jets have already resigned Matt Simms for this season who sits comfortably as Smith’s back up. Garrard seems to have taken his last snaps and resigning him would be a wasted roster spot. Perhaps he will return in some other capacity.

Sanchez is the real story, however. All indications point to Sanchez being realesed and the Jets shedding his outrageous salary. Yet, some writers believe Sanchez’s tenure may continue, just at a lower cost. To most, it is clear Sanchez has worn out his welcome in the Big Apple but there are those who believe he deserved the job last summer and would provide a better option than Smith (particularly in Mornhinweg’s offense).

The Market:

Regardless of what happens with Sanchez, I doubt the team would feel comfortable entering the season with the depth chart as currently constituted. The Jets need a quarterback to come in and push their stable of unproven and underwhelming passers. More importantly, the team could be an injury away from seeing a season of Matt Simms under center.

With the news of Chad Henne resigning in Jacksonville today, the free agent quarterback pool continues to shrink. There has been rampant speculation about Michael Vick as an option for the Jets, drawn by the familiarity with Mornhinweg’s system and a legitimate chance to start. Other viable options include Shaun Hill and Matt Cassel, though reported demand for Cassel may price the Jets out.

Expect the Jets to both sign and draft a quarterback, particularly if Sanchez is cut. Some mid to late round options include Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), David Fales (San Jose State), and Aaron Murray (Gerogia). Garoppolo has gained momentum from positive pre-draft workouts, Fales was once a first round prospect, and Murray was in contention for top of his class until an untimely ACL tear. All would be good options to improve the depth and push the incumbents.

For more on the FA DL see: