With all of the uncertainty around the New York Jets re-signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, I pose the question, do the Jets need Fitzpatrick to be as good or better than last season? I do not believe that they need Fitzpatrick to be competitive in the AFC this upcoming season. The kind of year Ryan Fitzpatrick had last year is very Josh McCown esque to me. He has only been quarterbacking the Jets for one year, and he had mediocre performances with the Bills and the Texans. I’m not, by any means, discrediting his success last season or his ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I just feel that the Jets may already have another option on their team, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has never led a team to the playoffs. Also, it is important to remember that the Jets have to figure out what they want to do with Muhammad Wilkerson. Here are some options the Jets have if they decide not to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Option 1: Geno Smith; Now I can understand that most Jets fans are quite disappointed with Geno, but I believe that another year with Todd Bowles as head coach might change that. Also, the Jets quarterback coach Kevin Patullo worked with Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo and New York, and look how he played last season. Don’t forget, without IK Enemkpali breaking his jaw last season, Geno would have started for the Jets. Geno is in the final year of his rookie deal, which gives him more incentive to perform well this season.
Option 2: Bryce Petty; You have to wonder are his madden skills that good? But in all seriousness, he is a definitely a possibility for New York at QB in 2016. There is not much NFL tape on him, although he did spend last season studying the playbook and working with the team during practice. I think it is worth it to give him a shot, because that gives the Jets a potential future at quarterback and it allows them to get rid of Geno Smith who has, for the most part, been diassapointing.
Option 3: Christian Hackenberg; Can the quarterback from Happy Valley put a smile on the faces of Jets fans? Like I said in my draft recap, I do not expect a lot out of Christian Hackenberg in general, let alone his first season in the NFL. Best case scenario, he is starting for Gang Green in 2016, worst case he ends up just being a roster spot until his rookie deal is finished. But regardless, I do think it is important for the Jets to look at all feasible options.
Option 4: Trade for a quarterback; The Jets have already looked into trading for Mike Glennon (26) last season and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t try again. He is probably the #1 target if the Jets go this route, as he performed well in a starting role in Tampa Bay. Depending on how the Eagles deal with their quarterback situation, Chase Daniel (29) could be on the way out in Philadelphia. He played above average with the Chiefs and is significantly better than Geno Smith. The last trading option I see is Matt McGloin (26), the Raiders already have a bright future in Derek Carr, and drafted Connor Cook in this year’s draft. That makes McGloin the odd man out in my mind and I believe that Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie will look to move him. All of these players are better than the Jets current quarterbacks.
Option 5: Draft a quarterback; This is the least likely option, as this means that the Jets would have drafted a quarterback in 5 of the last 6 drafts. I’m not ruling it out, as there are many intriguing prospects in the 2017 Draft including DeShaun Watson, Brad Kaaya, Chad Kelly, Joshua Dobbs, and Davis Webb. The Jets have no chance at getting DeShaun Watson without executing a blockbuster trade, and he may not declare for the draft after this season. It is the same situation for Brad Kaaya, although many scouts are saying he is the most NFL ready QB in the draft. Chad Kelly is an interesting prospect if he controls his temper and can play just like he did at Ole Miss this season. Joshua Dobbs is a potential Heisman Candidate and can turn out to be a steal for the Jets if they decide to draft him. And lastly Davis Webb, the Texas Tech transfer who is another potential pick at QB for the Jets.
My prediction: I believe the Jets and “Fitzy” will come to an agreement on a new contract and he will be the starting quarterback for 2016.