It felt like Derek Carr made the most sense for the New York Jets given the veteran quarterback would be both an upgrade behind center and was available on the open market. However, that’s no longer an option as Carr signed with the New Orleans Saints on Monday and earned a respectable four-year deal.
It’s now left the Jets, who reportedly continue to make Aaron Rodgers their No. 1 priority, with one less option at the game’s most important position.
Should Gang Green land Rodgers or another star like Baltimore Ravens signal-caller Lamar Jackson, all will be forgotten. And for a good reason. Both are better than Carr, who Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels released last month. But what if Rodgers opts to remain in Green Bay (or retire?) and Baltimore is unwilling to trade Jackson elsewhere? Well, the Jets then will reflect on how they allowed the best free agent escape them because they tried to court an unavailable option.
It feels like a bit of a boom-or-bust scenario after Carr signed in New Orleans. He was the one who fit in middle of the Venn diagram and now the J-E-T-S are left with one of the two circles.
There are other veteran free agents available, of course. But Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett don’t represent the same improvement that Carr would have. A better situation? Sure. But not the same improvement.
Perhaps it’s fair the Jets have put so much into the Rodgers’ bucket, though. The longtime Packers quarterback continues to be involved in speculation and Green Bay reportedly is ready to move on should he want the same. New York, which would become an instant Super Bowl contender with Rodgers, makes plenty of sense given its young talent and outspoken willingness to spend at the position. The Jets have been called the best fit for Rodgers by a number of NFL analysts in recent weeks and months.
As it relates to Jackson, there’s no denying things have been strained between the Ravens and the 26-year-old quarterback. If it continues or gets worse, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Jackson seek a trade. He, too, would make New York an instant contender for the Lombardi Trophy and bring longevity to the position. Additionally, the Ravens could elect to use the non-exclusive tag on Jackson, which would allow him the opportunity to negotiate a contract with another team. The Ravens could then match or allow him to leave and receive two first-rounders.
What do those two situations have in common? Boom.
If neither comes to fruition, though, the quarterback hunt this offseason for the Jets very well might be viewed as a bust.