It wasn’t a great showing for Boyle yesterday in his first start of the season. While the 29-year-old completed a respectable 71.1 percent of his passes, he also tossed a pair of interceptions and had a pair of fumbles. The loss to the Dolphins dropped Boyle to 0-4 as a starter in his career, with the other three losses coming with the Lions in 2021.
If Boyle is replaced, the Jets would likely turn to newly-named QB2 Trevor Siemian. The veteran was signed to the Jets active roster earlier this week as the team reworked their depth chart, a shakeup that saw Zach Wilson get demoted to the third spot on the depth chart. At this point, it seems unlikely that the Jets would turn back to the former second-overall pick, meaning Boyle or Siemian should get the bulk of the snaps at the position.
Of course, Aaron Rodgers has continued to keep the door open regarding a late-season return. However, thanks to yesterday’s loss, the Jets are now armed with the third-worst record in the AFC. Even with a future Hall of Fame QB back in the lineup, it’s unlikely they’d have enough time to insert themselves into the playoff picture.
Speaking of, that Jets loss also means the team would be eyeing a top-10 pick if the season ended today. Even though the organization is quickly climbing into “QB territory” on the draft board, Cimini says it would be a stunner if the front office chose a quarterback in the upcoming draft. The team still plans to roll with Rodgers in 2024, so any move will likely revolve around their win-now mentality.
3:02pm: For the second straight season, the Jets will demote Wilson two spots on their depth chart. Saleh confirmed Siemian will be Boyle’s backup in Week 12. The Jets made this move last season, bumping Joe Flacco up the depth chart as White’s backup. After another season of continued struggles, Wilson will be out of the equation for the time being.
Saleh benched Wilson in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Bills, another game in which the Jets’ offense struggled mightily. The unit has put up highly underwhelming numbers in a number of categories – including on third down, where New York has a conversion rate of 22.9% on the season – due to a number of issues. Wilson’s play has been one of them, though, which resulted in Boyle finishing the game yesterday.
The latter went 7-for-14 for 33 yards and one interception during his brief relief appearance in Week 11. That marked his first regular season action with the Jets, as he had previously served as Wilson’s backup in the wake of Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear. Wilson has failed to show signs of tangible development in 2023 (although factors such as an injury-riddled offensive line have played a part in his struggles), but Saleh routinely backed him earlier in the campaign. His stance shifted yesterday, however, with the announcement New York would make a decision on a starter for the team’s upcoming Black Friday game.
Boyle, 29, joined the Jets in the spring to serve as depth behind Rodgers and Wilson. His signing marked his first foray out of the NFC North, having spent his first two years with the Packers followed by one-year stints in Detroit and Chicago. Boyle was part of New York’s final roster cuts, but he was immediately retained via the practice squad. That decision, coupled with the Rodgers injury and Wilson’s performance, has now thrust him into a No. 1 role.
The former UDFA has three starts to his name, each of which came in 2021 with the Lions. Boyle has played in 18 total regular season games in the NFL, making him a less experienced option than Trevor Siemian (35 games, 30 starts). The latter signed in September in what the Jets quickly confirmed would be the team’s only outside addition at the QB spot. Siemian has remained on New York’s practice squad since his arrival.
One year remains on Wilson’s rookie contract, though the Jets could elect to pick up his fifth-year option for 2025 this offseason. Such a move would come as a major surprise, since for the second straight year (after the change to Mike Whitewhich took place in 2022) he has seen an extended run as a starter brought to an end. Today’s move marks another sign of lost confidence in the former No. 2 pick, as well as a bid to rescue the remaining weeks until Rodgers’ targeted return to action. New York will face Miami on Friday to begin the attempt at a rebound on offense.
Zach Wilsonstarted the Jets’ Week 11 loss to the Bills, but he did not finish it. In the wake of another poor outing by the former No. 2 pick, head coach Robert Saleh took a different stance than the one he has in previous weeks regarding the situation under center.
Whereas Saleh has publicly endorsed Wilson on a number of occasions this year amidst questions about his status atop the depth chart, he declined to name a starter in the aftermath of Sunday’s loss. New York is set to play Miami on Black Friday, so a decision needs to be made quickly with respect to who will be under center. Veteran Tim Boyleentered the game late in the third quarter, though the change did not spark an offensive improvement.
“Like I told Zach on the sideline, it’s not just him,” Saleh said, via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “It’s easy to point the finger at the quarterback, but it’s pretty easy to see. You’ve got missed protections, you’ve got dropped balls, you’ve got missed routes. Now, obviously, he has to get better. There are things he could’ve done a lot better, but it’s everyone right now.”
As recently as last week, Saleh confirmed the Jets had a consensus regarding where the organization stood with Wilson. The 24-year-old completed seven of 15 pass attempts for one touchdown and one interception against Buffalo, however, adding to a season of performances which have shown a distinct lack of development. The Jets elected not to addCarson Wentzas a mid-season free agent, leaving either Boyle or Trevor Siemian– who finds himself on the practice squad – as New York’s options to supplant Wilson as the starter.
Of course, the Jets’ QB situation has involved such uncertainty due to Aaron Rodgers‘ Week 1 Achilles tear. The four-time MVP has continued to progress in his rehab, and recent indications point to Dec. 24 as his targeted return date. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network corroborates that, while adding the obvious caveat that a Rodgers return would only be feasible if the Jets were still in postseason contention late in the year (video link).
Sitting at 4-6, New York could still make a run at a wild-card spot, but the depth of talented teams in the AFC stands to make the path to the playoffs a difficult one in the absence of better play on offense in particular. It will be interesting to see if Saleh’s post-game comments are reflected in a QB change ahead of Week 12’s matchup with the Dolphins.
The NFL’s franchise in New England had been spoiled with their consistency at the quarterback position over the 20-year reign of Tom Brady. This season, though, many are wondering if Brady’s eventual successor, Mac Jones, has what it takes to retain his seat atop the depth chart. According to several different sources, his starting job as the Patriots‘ quarterback is safe for now.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report this morning that the Patriots would be sticking with Jones at quarterback for today’s game against the Saints and that “no change was imminent.” He did mention that second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe, who got about a quarter of the team’s offensive snaps is last week’s blowout loss to the Cowboys, got more practice snaps than usual throughout the week.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated detailed that a lot of the struggles seen with Jones last week were things that have been noticed at practice in New England. He asserts that Jones still has a bit of leeway with the coaching staff, but Jones is going to need to remedy those issues in order to keep it that way.
Even after another blowout loss today that saw Jones pulled from the game in the fourth quarter, head coach Bill Belichick confirmed that Jones will remain the team’s starter, according to Josh Alper of NBC Sports. Belichick reportedly said that “the team will be ‘starting over’ as they move toward next Sunday’s game against the Raiders, but the new start won’t include a new” starter.
Here are a few other rumors out of the AFC East, starting with a new familiar face who recently returned to Massachusetts:
Recent trade acquisition from the Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson was once a prized free agent addition in Los Angeles after his original stint with the Patriots. But things this year deteriorated to the point that Jackson, who was a healthy scratch for the Chargers in Week 3, was asked to enter the game to fill in for an injured Michael Davis, and he refused to do so, per a joint report from Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Jackson, who had already sustained a serious injury during his time in Los Angeles, knew he had no future with the team and didn’t feel comfortable risking further injury. Additionally, the arrest warrant issued for Jackson in late September for reckless driving has reportedly been lifted, according to David Linton of The Sun Chronicle. Jackson paid the fine and agreed to probation in order to avoid arrest.
Along with Aaron Rodgers‘ former Green Bay teammates, wide receiver Mecole Hardman was considered a big addition to the Jets‘ receiving corps in the offseason. And despite his once prominent role on the perennial contender in Kansas City, Hardman has been a non-factor in the first five weeks of the season, including his status as a healthy scratch today. Hardman voiced his frustration to ESPN’s Rich Cimini saying, “I’m probably the best in the league in space. Maybe (the coaches) see something different. I’m just waiting for the opportunity to present itself. I think when I was in K.C., I proved that I was probably the most dangerous guy on the jet sweep, or whether it be on the end-around or on the screen, I think I proved year-out that I was that guy you had to worry about doing that.”
Sticking with the Jets, many expected a change to the composition of the quarterbacks room coming into the week. Cimini relayed head coach Robert Saleh‘s assessment that the room was “status quo” today. Tim Boyle remained as Zach Wilson‘s primary backup, while Trevor Siemian stayed down on the practice squad today.
September 29th, 2023 at 10:19pm CST by Sam Robinson
Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear four plays into his Jets tenure doubles as one of the most crushing injuries a team has sustained in many years. The Jets have gone from a team with Super Bowl aspirations to one trapped in the kind of situation that caused the all-out Rodgers push.
The Jets have been connected to a few outside options, attempting to add Colt McCoy and ex-Nathaniel Hackett charge Chad Henne. They also looked into poaching fellow ex-Hackett pupil Brett Rypien off the Rams’ practice squad, but Los Angeles promoted the ex-Broncos backup instead. Two years after the Jets took heat for not backstopping Wilson — a plan former OC Mike LaFleur called a mistake — the team has not attempted to chase a veteran who would unseat him.
Citing the Jets’ $276MM in cash spent — a number that trails only the Ravens and Browns — a Thursday report indicated a top-down Jets directive has led the team to prefer to have a QB rise through the practice squad route. This, and the team’s desire to avoid a Wilson QB controversy, has led to the current depth chart forming. As such, Trevor Siemian represents the top option to take over if Wilson continues to struggle. Although the recently added arm has not been a regular starter since 2017, the ex-Peyton Manning Denver successor has made 30 career starts.
Siemian, 31, is 0-6 over his past six starts. Prior to losing four games leading a depleted Saints roster, Siemian did pilot the Saints past the then-defending champion Buccaneers in his first appearance with the team. Siemian also started a Jets Week 2 game in 2019, a contest that featured the then-Sam Darnold backup going down with a season-ending ankle injury. But the seven-team journeyman is back in town. Although he is not coming off the practice squad this week, an elevation figures to take place soon after.
Current backup Tim Boyle has thrown 106 career passes, residing as a Rodgers and Jared Goff backup during his career. Boyle’s most notable work came when he started three games for an injured Goff in 2021. A rebuilding Lions team lost all three of those games. Boyle, who played at UConn and Eastern Kentucky, served as Rodgers’ top backup at points in Green Bay. The Jordan Love pick changed his standing with the organization.
The Jets cannot trade their first- or second-round picks, with those selections in escrow since they are part of the Rodgers trade package. But will the Jets attempt to use a mid-round choice to trade for a better option? The team still boasts an upper-echelon defense that is again tied to a bottom-tier QB situation. Teams will not be eager to unload a proven backup, but decent draft compensation could change that equation. The Texans’ backups have generated trade interest, and either Case Keenum or Davis Mills could potentially be pried away. Would they move the needle much for the Jets?
Douglas was in place when the Eagles traded up for Wentz in 2016, and the fifth-year Jets GM was present when the former No. 2 overall pick soared to the MVP favorite before an ACL tear ended his 2017 season. Wentz’s stock has tanked since that outlier year, but he is just 30 and would be an upgrade on Wilson. Matt Ryan is 38 is coming off a dreadful Colts season. While Ryan indicated he is happy at CBS, both free agents are believed to have reached out to the Jets. Although Colin Kaepernick wrote Douglas a letter campaigning for a P-squad opportunity, the Jets are not interested in a player out of the league for the past seven seasons.
Kirk Cousins and Ryan Tannehill loom as longshots that have not come up in legitimate trade rumors, but both are on expiring contracts — albeit pricey expiring deals — and playing for teams with sub-.500 records. The Titans, who drafted Will Levisin Round 2, would likely need to eat some of Tannehill’s money. The 12th-year veteran is on a $27MM base salary; the Jets hold barely $8MM in cap space. Cousins carries a no-trade clause. Both 35-year-old passers have void years at the end of their contracts, with the Vikings starter’s void number checking in at a whopping $28.5MM for 2024.
Will the Jets aim higher via Wentz or a trade? Or will Siemian represent Wilson’s top competition for the rest of the season? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts on this situation in the comments section.
Wilson also reports that practice squad quarterback Tim Boyle will be signed to the active roster to serve as Zach Wilson‘s backup. The vacancy created on the practice squad by Boyle’s promotion will be the one filled by Seibert’s addition. In order to make room on the active roster for Boyle, wide receiver Irvin Charles has been waived.
1:53pm: With reports coming in from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, we can confirm that the Jets have officially downgraded Zuerlein to out for tomorrow’s matchup with the Cowboys. As most teams choose not to carry more than one kicker on their roster, this will require New York to make an addition to the team for tomorrow.
After a successful workout yesterday, Seibert has won the backup kicking job for the Jets, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. As mentioned below, Seibert is the most experienced of the three who tried out after spending his rookie season in 2019 making 86 percent of his kicks as the full time kicker for the Browns. He’s bounced around a bit since then and will now get a new opportunity in New York.
Even if Zuerlein is only out short-term, the job is a good opportunity for Seibert to showcase his in-game kicking abilities to other teams in the NFL who may be in need of a kicker down the line.
Seibert has the most experience of the bunch, with the former sixth-round pick getting into 30 games since 2019. Since appearing in 16 games a rookie, the kicker has bounced around the NFL, spending time with the Browns, Bengals, and Lions. He most recently got into three games for Detroit in 2022, connecting on three of his five field goal attempts and all 12 of his extra point tries.
Wright has seen time in 23 games, including a 2021 campaign where he appeared in 14 games for the Jaguars. He split the 2022 season between the Steelers and Chiefs, converting 12 of his 14 FG tries and all seven of his XPs. Shudak was busy during his lone NFL appearance, contributing 10 points during an appearance with the Titans in 2022.
Zuerlein suffered a groin injury during practice on Thursday, and Robert Saleh has declared the starting kicker 50/50 for tomorrow (per ESPN’s Rich Cimini). The head coach also acknowledged that the injury isn’t serious, so it sounds like the Jets may just need a one-week replacement at the position.
“Joe [Douglas] and the staff, they’re on it, to get all these kickers in for a workout to see which one would be best available come Sunday,” Saleh said (via Andrew Crane of the New York Post). “But gotta roll with the punches.”
September 13th, 2023 at 11:37am CST by Sam Robinson
SEPTEMBER 13: The Jets are unlikely to add a quarterback this week, Cimini tweets. As they prepare to face a top-tier Cowboys defense, the Jets are gearing up to head into that game with a Wilson-Boyle depth chart. While Saleh said he would he “shocked” if Rodgers retired after this injury, Cimini adds, the eventual first-ballot Canton inductee is out of the picture until 2024. No surgery date has emerged yet.
SEPTEMBER 12: Aaron Rodgers‘ historically short cameo this season leaves the Jets back with Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback. Although the team aggressively chased veteran passers — in a search that produced Rodgers — this offseason to avoid Wilson returning as QB1, the future Hall of Famer’s Achilles tear leaves the much-hyped team scrambling.
While Wilson is back in place atop the Jets’ depth chart, team brass is meeting to discuss options at the position. The team has already begun to reach out to free agent signal-callers, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini tweets. As should be expected, representatives for a number of free agent options have contacted the Jets, Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager adds. The Jets are only planning for an outside addition to fill out the QB room, with Robert Saleh clarifying Wilson will be the starter.
“I want to make it very clear: Zach’s our quarterback,” Saleh said, via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. “We have a lot of faith in Zach. We’re rolling with Zach and excited for him. … Under no circumstances is any of this a competition. This is Zach’s team and we’re rolling with Zach.”
Former Rodgers Green Bay backup Tim Boyle is the only other QB with the Jets presently, and Saleh confirmed he will become the backup. The team let Mike White walk in free agency; the two-year Jets spot starter who eventually moved past Wilson on the depth chart is now Tua Tagovailoa‘s Dolphins backup. Joe Flacco was part of the Jets’ QB room for three seasons, including Saleh’s first two. The former Super Bowl MVP has expressed interest in continuing his career, and ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes the 15-year veteran is interested in coming back. Nothing has transpired on this front just yet, however, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson.
Flacco, 38, would seemingly be an option, though the Mike LaFleur-to-Nathaniel Hackett switch may be a hurdle here. But GM Joe Douglas having brought in Flacco, whom he worked while a scout with in Baltimore, would count in the ex-Ravens cornerstone’s favor. Douglas was also with the Eagles when they traded up for Carson Wentz and during Nick Foles‘ second stint with the team.
Three teams have jettisoned Wentz over the past three offseasons; the former No. 2 overall pick has been working out preparing for another opportunity since his Commanders exit. The Colts cut Foles, 34, in May. Neither has been tied to a team since their respective releases. At this juncture, both would qualify as logical emergency options. Wentz would represent the better chance to replace Wilson, having been a starter throughout his career. Colt McCoy, whom the Cardinals recently released, is also unattached. McCoy came up as a potential Patriots option but has not signed with a team since his Arizona exit.
The team has inquired about Chad Henne, per Schultz. The four-year Chiefs backup retired after Super Bowl LVII, but he has worked in Hackett’s system before. Henne’s time with the Jaguars overlapped with Hackett’s. Hackett coached Henne from 2016-18, working as Jacksonville’s OC. Henne turned 38 shortly after his retirement announcement.
Colin Kaepernick‘s agent has reached out to the Jets as well, The Score’s Jordan Schultz tweets. While Saleh and Kaepernick technically overlapped with the 49ers, that brief period did not involve any game action. The 49ers were set to release the polarizing passer had he not opted out of his contract in March 2017; that sequence came less than a month after Kyle Shanahan hired Saleh. Despite having not played since the 2016 season, the exiled QB has continued to work out in hopes of resuming his career. Considering how long it has been since Kaepernick played in the NFL, he is not a realistic option at this point.
Rodgers’ injury development is eerily similar to the one that wrecked the Jets’ 1999 season. Following an AFC championship game berth, the Jets lost starter Vinny Testaverde to an Achilles tear in Week 1 of the ’99 campaign. The team used former No. 2 overall pick Rick Mirer, who had washed out with the Seahawks, as its starter soon after. Mirer had arrived via trade that August. The team eventually benched Mirer for mobile third-stringer Ray Lucas, who ended up starting nine games that year. The Jets finished 8-8 in Bill Parcells‘ third and final year at the helm; Testaverde returned to retake the reins in 2000.
Wilson struggled mightily last season and ended up being benched for White midway through. Issues in the locker room were rumored to have contributed to the benching. Although Wilson ended up moving back into the backup role to fill in for an injured White in Week 16, a woeful showing against the Jaguars cemented the Jets’ pursuit of veteran options this offseason. The team resisted on adding a veteran backup behind Rodgers, with the trade rumors surrounding Wilson ending up unfounded. The former No. 2 pick is awkwardly back in the Jets’ top spot, but it will be interesting to see if a starter-caliber veteran arrives and eventually pushes the underwhelming investment for playing time.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots moves are noted below.
The Jets have been in the limelight all offseason, and some of their lesser-known players have earned attention following the team’s participation in HBO’s Hard Knocks. The team had to move on from many of those unheralded players today, as the organization reduced their roster to 53 players:
Zonovan Knight made a name for himself as an UDFA in 2022. The running back was thrust into the Jets starting lineup, and he ultimately started four of his seven appearances. The RB finished the season with 400 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 98 touches. With Dalvin Cook added to a deep RBs depth chart, Knight seemed like a long shot to make the final roster.
Tim Boyle has bounced around the NFL a bit, but his only starting experience came with the Lions in 2021. The quarterback spent the 2022 campaign in Chicago, completing two of his eight pass attempts. It was uncertain if the Jets would keep three QBs on the roster, but the team appears content with just Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson at the position.
With the top two spots on their quarterback depth chart accounted for, the Jets will at least temporarily move on from Tim Boyle. New York is releasing the veteran signal-caller, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Boyle has four years of regular season play to his name, all of which has come within the NFC North. He was with the Packers in 2019 and ’20, and his time there was followed up by one-year stints with the Lions and Bears. Boyle signed with the Jets in April, as the team sorted through its efforts to land a high-end veteran starter.
That goal was achieved with the Aaron Rodgerstrade later that month, a move which moved the latter into the starting role. New York still has former No. 2 pick Zach Wilsonin place, and he will reside as the team’s backup during Rodgers’ time in the Big Apple – something which is likely to last for at least the 2023 and ’24 campaigns. With those two in the intermediate-term plans, Boyle will be left on the outside of the roster bubble.
Fowler does note that Boyle will likely be a practice squad candidate if he no other teams show much interest in him while sorting out their own roster decisions. That would allow the 28-year-old to remain in New York as the team begins what is expected to be a window of Super Bowl contention. Boyle, who has started three of his 17 appearances, would represent relatively experienced depth if needed as a fill-in for Rogers or Wilson.
A number of quarterbacks similar to Boyle have found themselves on the waiver wire or free agency recently, however, so a number of teams around the league could be in the market for depth additions under center. Clubs willing to carry three passers on their initial 53-man rosters could be interested in players like Boyle, which would give him an opportunity to avoid a taxi squad situation.