The Jets are set to make a long-awaited addition to their quarterback room. Trevor Siemian is prepared to sign with the team pending a physical, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network adds this will be a practice squad arrangement. The deal is now official.
Siemian will make a return to New York, having spent the 2019 season with the Jets. This reunion will give the team three healthy passers, as they previously only had Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle on the roster. The former has received repeated endorsements as New York’s starter from head coach Robert Saleh, but experienced depth, at a minimum, will be added with this deal. Siemian visited the Jets on Tuesday morning, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets.
The 31-year-old has yet to win a start since 2017, going 0-6 in that span. Siemian has seen time with the Saints and Bears, which led him to a Bengals deal this offseason. He was among the team’s final roster cuts, however, leading to a free agency stay which lasted well into the start of the season. Pelissero’s colleague James Palmer notes Cincinnati considered bringing Siemian back this past week while Joe Burrow‘s availability was in question.
When the Jets initially added Siemian in 2019, he was brought in to back up Sam Darnold, who was going into his second season. A Darnold mononucleosis diagnosis led to Siemian starting the Jets’ Week 2 game against the Browns that year, but a season-ending ankle injury took Siemian off the field after just six pass attempts. He moved on in 2020. The former Peyton Manning Denver successor has since been with four more teams — the Titans, Saints, Bears and Bengals — and has been strictly a backup or a third-string option.
This is certainly not a transaction that would appease Jets fans clamoring for Wilson to be benched. As Saleh continues to insist the third-year passer is the team’s clear-cut best option, the Jets are not believed to have done work on adding a starter-caliber passer. They looked into Colt McCoy and a potential Chad Henne unretirement in the aftermath of Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear, but the team went into Weeks 2 and 3 with just Wilson and Boyle on its depth chart. Siemian now becomes the team’s de facto third-stringer, though it is conceivable he could leapfrog Boyle to be Wilson’s backup or potentially usurp both to become a starter again. Being unable to beat out Jake Browning for the Bengals’ QB2 gig, however, does not exactly boost Siemian’s prospects.
Through three games, Wilson ranks ahead of only Justin Fields in QBR, sitting 33rd. He has completed just 52.4% of his passes — down from his full-season numbers in 2021 and ’22 — and is averaging only 5.6 yards per attempt. The latter number is also down from his ’21 and ’22 averages. While it remains interesting the Jets have not made a more aggressive push to find a veteran capable of unseating the struggling starter, the team at least filled out its depth chart with Siemian.