September 12, 2023
The biggest NFL news for Week 1 is the Jets' season seemingly going up in smoke. On the fourth play of his New York career, four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles. The Jets, coming off "Hard Knocks," garnered big-time hype this offseason and had budding offensive stars Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson in addition to a stout defense.
The Jets ended up pulling off an unlikely win on Monday Night Football against the Bills with Rodgers sidelined and former first-round pick Zach Wilson filling in, but that's not sustainable. New York is too talented to waste this season and resign themselves to being a Wilson-led squad. They need outside help.
Joe Douglas is the Jets' general manager. From 2016 to 2019, Douglas was the Eagles' vice president of player personnel. He has one of his Super Bowl rings solely because he saw a backup QB swoop in and save a team. Would Douglas have any interest in calling one of his old friends from his Philly days?
Among the current free-agent quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are both right there and a call away. So is Matt Ryan, who hasn't officially hung up his cleats yet despite taking on a TV role. Foles likely isn't an NFL-quality quarterback at this point, but he, at times, randomly finds a rabbit's foot in his pocket and goes supernova. Another former Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco, has played for the Jets under Douglas and is also on the market. Then there's the Tom Brady shadow hanging over every football fan's head even after his retirement ceremony in Foxboro this past weekend.
An upgrade is needed. That shouldn't be up for debate. What the Jets should really be doing is parting with some draft capital to nab one of the league's best backup QBs, like Andy Dalton in Carolina, Jacoby Brissett in Washington or, for a hilarious reunion, Sam Darnold in San Francisco.
This will be quite telling about Wentz's future in the NFL. Douglas knows Wentz's deal as well as any non-Howie Roseman NFL executive. If he believes he could come in, fit into offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's scheme, and be a high-character locker room figure, boom. If even Douglas doesn't want him, that certainly says a lot.
Wentz is the most talented free-agent QB, but his erratic, high-variance play doesn't exactly translate to being a guy who could seamlessly gel with an offense. At the same time, would you take the upside swing with Wentz over hoping for the 24-year-old Wilson to play like the former No. 2 pick he once was? Douglas' problem is not an enviable one.
Douglas' best options:
1. Sells his soul for Brady to un-retire again
2. Trades for a starter-quality backup in the Dalton/Brissett mold
3. Signs Foles, hits on 18 and hopes for blackjack magic
4. Signs Wentz, makes Philadelphians go wild for the Week 6 Eagles-Jets game
5. Rolls with Wilson
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