In 2022, the Jets actually gave their fans some reasons to be optimistic. They had plenty of young players such as Garrett Wilson, Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, and Breece Hall (when healthy) who emerged as difference makers and helped lead the Jets to a 7-4 record. Unfortunately, none of the players are quarterbacks. In a league where that position is so vital, the Jets couldn't find an answer at the position, whether it was Zach Wilson (right), Mike White (center), and Joe Flacco (left). This ultimately led to a six game losing streak and a 12th year out of the playoffs.
Now that the season is over, fans are already making their wishlists of possible quarterbacks. There will be many quarterbacks available this offseason and while any of them will be an upgrade, there are a variety of factors to consider. Some are easy to evaluate such as their stats, while others like their mental toughness will require more thought. With that being said, here are my preferred options for Jets quarterback.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
Out of all the four quarterbacks I mention here, Garoppolo is certainly not the flashiest quarterback. He hasn't posted eye-popping stats and can be injury prone, as seen this year. Even with some of these question marks, he is still a productive quarterback who can be consistently relied upon. With a quick release, he is able to utilize the many skill positions the 49ers have. In addition, Garoppolo has climbed into a tie for fifth place for the most victories by a 49er quarterback, despite starting only 55 games since 2017. The 49ers may not need him as of now, but those numbers can't be ignored.
Perhaps Garoppolo's biggest attribute is his resilience. He's had to live up to a record $137 million contract extension in 2018, come back from multiple injuries, and face competition following their selection of Trey Lance in 2021. Despite these obstacles, Garoppolo has continued to perform at an exceptional level and has elevated his teammates in the process. Those qualities in particular make him a perfect fit to play in a big market like New York. The cherry on top is that Garoppolo is one of the cheapest options in free agency, which will make it easy for the Jets to sign him.
2. Aaron Rodgers
When it comes to throwing a football, few can do it better than Aaron Rodgers. He is a lock for Canton thanks to his ability to effortlessly locate the football wherever he wants. Time and time again, Rodgers has the impossible look routine from game winning drives to 70 yard bombs. His resume includes four MVP awards, and a Super Bowl championship. As for his status, the future Hall of Famer could be shipped this off-season and the Jets have been listed as one potential destination. The hiring of his former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to run the Jets' offense has only added more fuel to the possibility.
So with all that greatness, what could possibly draw the Jets back?
For one, Rodgers is on the older side. At 39 years old, Rodgers experienced some decline in his play. This year, he threw the most interceptions in his career since 2008, while his touchdowns took a deep dive. Although Rodgers' season would've been strong for any other quarterback, it is hard to ignore this drastic decline given his age. He also has the reputation of being a jerk who only cares about himself. Rodgers can be thin-skinned, which may not fly with the New York media. If Rodgers got away with throwing shade at the Packers' organization, New York would persecute him for those actions.
3. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson is another talented quarterback on this list who's a possible option for the Jets. Unlike Rodgers, the 2019 NFL MVP is a dual threat QB whose legs are just as a dangerous as his arm. He has yet to throw for 4,000 yards, but Jackson's mobility has allowed him to make plays, whether it's throwing or running. Since being named the starter midway in his rookie season, Jackson has helped lead the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs in four of the last five years. In addition, the Jets have had the best odds to land Jackson if he decides to leave in free agency.
However, getting him could come at a steep price regardless of how it's done. Before the season, Jackson bet on himself by denying a $250 million contract offer by the Ravens and although it didn't work, the Jets may still have to break the bank to get him in free agency. There's also the possibility the Ravens could franchise tag him, which would require a bevy of assets to acquire him. As talented as Lamar may be, it is always risky to invest most of your future in a quarterback who hasn't fully replicated his MVP year.
4. Derek Carr
While there's still a chance Jackson remains a Raven, it is certain that Derek Carr will not remain a Raider after he was shockingly benched in their last two games. What made this move so surprising was that he had a productive nine seasons with the Raiders. Carr can perfectly place any throw regardless of how short or long it may be. In addition, he has completed over 300 passes every year while throwing for over 4,000 yards in four of them. While many quarterbacks have done this, it is particularly impressive given the revolving door of coaches during his tenure.
There are some downsides to Carr however. While he has often put the Raiders in a position to make the playoffs, he also plays a role in their downfall. Carr has lost more games and thrown more interceptions in December than any other month in his career. Considering that December was when the Jets unraveled, they may have to think twice about getting a quarterback who can be erratic down the stretch.
2022 NFL Playoff Predictions
It is always an exciting time of year for the NFL playoffs regardless of how each team makes it. Unlike last year, there are plenty of teams in both conferences who have the assets to make a serious playoff run. With the season starting to enter its final stages, here's a brief overview of my predictions.
#2 Bills over #7 Dolphins
The Bills are going into this postseason with Damar Hamlin's continued progress serving as motivation. Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and co. will be too much for a Dolphins team that barley squeaked into the playoffs
#3 Bengals over #6 Ravens
Like Miami, Baltimore has slumped since Lamar Jackson got sidelined with a knee injury. Meanwhile the Bengals have been one of the league's hottest teams winning an AFC best eight games.
#5 Chargers over #4 Jaguars
This is my favorite wild card matchup as Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence will both make their playoff debut. It will be close, but Herbert's Chargers have a bit more firepower which will be the difference.
#1 Chiefs over #5 Chargers
The Chargers have been a worthy adversary of the Chiefs. It will be a hard fought game, but it's hard to see Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce going out in defeat against a division rival. I got the Chiefs in this game.
#2 Bills over #3 Bengals
Everybody will be watching to see what happens three weeks removed from when Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. In what will be a showdown between two high-powered offenses, Buffalo's pass rush has still been productive without Von Miller and they will eventually get to Burrow.
#2 Bills over #1 Chiefs
In the third consecutive year of Allen vs. Mahomes, Allen will prevail this time. Allen will once again put up a Herculean effort and this time, Buffalo's defense will get the key stops in a close affair.
#2 49ers over #7 Seahawks
In his first playoff game since 2017, Christian McCaffrey will play with a vengence while the defense ends a feel good season from Geno Smith.
#3 Vikings over #6 Giants
The Vikings aren't perfect for a 13 win team, but they still have star power with Justin Jefferson leading the way. He will make the most of his playoff debut and send the Giants home.
#5 Cowboys over #4 Buccaneers
In what will be an offensive slugfest, Dallas' defense will frustrate Tom Brady enough to overcome sloppy play from Prescott.
#1 Eagles over #5 Cowboys
In another chapter of their storied rivalry, Philadelphia will be well-rested and resemble the team that was 13-1 at one point. They will run all over Dallas' defense, while Prescott's struggles will prove costly this time.
#2 49ers over #3 Vikings
Nick Bosa continues to make his case as the best pass rusher in the league, harassing Kirk Cousins throughout the game. On offense, all their top guns will show out against a shaky Minnesota defense.
#2 49ers over #1 Eagles
Linebacker Fred Warner will be spying Jalen Hurts throughout the game, and the 49ers will attack Philadelphia's middle of the pack run defense en route to their second Super Bowl appearance in four years.
#2 Bills over #2 49ers
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs will propel the offense, putting up numbers similar to Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp last year. Brock Purdy will get start even with Jimmy Garoppolo healthy but he will lose his first career NFL game despite putting up a solid fight.