A broken jaw will force Geno Smith to miss anywhere between the first 6-10 weeks of the 2015 NFL season. With this being the case, what are the Jets’ options at quarterback, and who should they pursue prior to the start of the regular season?
First off, it’s pertinent to start by saying that Bryce Petty is not ready, according to multiple reports. Other than Petty, New York has Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jake Heaps on the roster. Heaps is fairly far out of the question, which leaves the Jets with Fitzpatrick or the option to go fishing.
The team has already reached out to Rex Grossman and Tyler Thigpen. However, it’s clear that neither of these two quarterbacks has starting potential – certainly not over Fitzpatrick.
Out of the other names available, Michael Vick is the first name that comes to mind. A former-Jet, Vick is perhaps the most established quarterback on the current market.
Matt Flynn was released by the Patriots. Despite health as a factor, he’s a very serviceable option. A hamstring injury is not something that will sideline him for a very extended period of time, and the plus is that he has veteran experience.
T.J. Yates is an option, but he’s probably the riskiest option. Yates last played with the Atlanta Falcons, and although he only has fives NFL starts to his name, he played a definitive role in the Texans’ 2011 playoff run.
Out of the options available, none scream success for a Jets team that is looking for stability on offense. However, the favorite, in my opinion, has to be Vick here. As he spent time on the team, he became familiar with much of the offensive playbook. Despite the coaching change, the learning curve would be significantly less of a problem.
On one hand, If the Jets want to be stingy and ride out the problem in a depth year, they’ll likely go with Fitzpatrick as their man and pick up a less experienced quarterback for depth behind him. On the other hand, if the team wants to compete, they’ll bring in someone like Vick for open competition in the preseason.