Since the Jets’ 2022 season crashed to a halt amidst their quarterback struggles, they are widely expected to be active in pursuing a veteran addition at the position. The team has been very public about doing so, and clarity could be emerging with respect to the names they are targeting.
CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reports that New York is “evaluating” Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr. While he adds that the process is in its early stages, meaning more names will no doubt be added to that list, it comes as little surprise that those three are included in it. Rodgers was mentioned as a trade candidate for the Jets even before Nathaniel Hackett became the team’s new offensive coordinator, but increasingly so due to their connection with one another dating back to the latter’s time with the Packers.
Garoppolo was widely thought to be on his way out of San Francisco last offseason with the team turning its offense over to Trey Lance, but he ultimately remained on a re-worked contract. Now a pending free agent, he would not require trade compensation (as would be the case with Rodgers). His play after taking over for Lance appeared to help his value on the open market, but the 31-year-old then suffered what was initially believed to be a season-ending ankle injury. He may have been able to return in time for the Super Bowl, though the result of today’s NFC title game now makes that a moot point.
As for Carr, his days in Vegas are thought to be numbered, as the three-time Pro Bowler personally alluded to recently. He has begun doing “homework” on potential landing spots in a trade (since he has a no-trade clause), though the possibility remains that he get released and chooses his next team as a free agent.
That trio of passers is also one which Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network lists as targets for the Jets. New York showed signs of being a playoff contender in 2022 with a strong defense in particular, and a number of encouraging performances with a healthy Mike White at the helm of their offense. Interestingly, Pauline notes that “several” Jets players implored general manager Joe Douglas during their exit interviews to move on from Zach Wilson as their starting QB, in addition to firing offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
The latter move has already taken place, with Hackett now set to play a role in identifying the team’s top options to provide stability at the position relative to Wilson’s inconsistencies (although Pauline also notes that owner Woody Johnson still sees the 2021 No. 2 pick as salvageable). As the QB market takes shape, the Jets are sure to be key players in the case of several veteran passers.