Many believe New York Jets young quarterback Bryce Petty is a project. So why do fans over-hype the guy to the max?
By Robby Sabo
The kid was impressive during the only action he can claim as legitimate NFL experience.
Bryce Petty took his lumps, but played well and showed promise during the 2015 preseason for the New York Jets.
He looked so promising that some fans are now wild with the idea that he is the undoubted and unchallenged future for this organization.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
While Petty may wind up as the future, there are entirely too many questions and reason for doubt, to think he is.
He’s a project, as stated by many who are in-tuned with the organization. Mike Maccagnan, for all of his kind words toward Petty in the public, has no real interest in the kid competing for the starting job, yet.
Everything I've gathered is NYJ love him– personality, talent, work ethic. Just HAS to put it together–project guy https://t.co/V3FMfyMrwG
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) March 16, 2016
Considering this, why in the world would any Jets fan firmly believe he’s the future?
Could he be the future? Of course. But there’s no chance that anybody can put up their mortgage on that bet.
Just as the New England Patriots had no idea what sixth-round pick Tom Brady was near the beginning, the Jets, too, have no idea what they have in Petty yet.
He’s a fourth-round selection who the organization is hoping the best from. Nothing more, nothing less.
Obviously, the Petty discussion heats up thanks to the surroundings of the Jets free agency goings on.
2015 starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is, of course, a free agent. He reportedly wants a contract that mirrors the current QB market for starting quarterbacks, one that’ll see him get paid around $15 million annually.
It makes sense, especially for a guy who’s coming off a season that saw him put up close to 4,000 yards through the air, 31 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. The man broke the single-season Jets record for TD passes.
And even though he’s 33-years of age, it still makes sense to ask for the money.
That is, unless, he knows the Jets have another option in-house.
This is the scariest thought surrounding the development of Bryce Petty. He’s still nowhere close to an NFL-caliber quarterback in Maccagnan’s eyes. If he was, he’d be more “in the mix” as a starter for 2015.
If he was, Fitzpatrick might have already ran back to Florham Park for $9-$10 million simply because he knows Petty can get the job done in 2016.
Nobody is more familiar with the Jets quarterback situation than Fitzpatrick is. So considering he has no problem allowing this negotiation to drag on until eternity, he must understand the Jets truly have no faith in both Geno Smith and Bryce Petty for the upcoming season.
This is what many don’t understand.
What Maccagnan says and how he feels are two completely different things. What he says is always based on the inner-workings of what’s best in a business deal. What he feels can only be known based on the results out there on that field.
He speaks about “contingency plans” quite often. He also makes it very clear he’ll never tip his hand about these contingency plans.
For all we know, he might have a deal in place with Tampa Bay for Mike Glennon – only lingering out there on the table until the Fitz situation gets resolved, one way or another.
Despite all of these uncertainties and games of posturing, there’s one thing we do know for sure: Fans of the Jets are absolutely starving for their next franchise guy.
It’s not that they know Petty is a guy worth going all-in on, it’s that they want him to be that guy. They want him to be the next Joe Namath, if for no other reason than this current regime drafted him.
They look at past situations involving names such as the aforementioned Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez and think to themselves how each guy was ruined because they started from jump-street. No time to develop and learn was the reason these two failed, many claim They’ll bring up instances like Aaron Rodgers and say “see! If a quarterback sits for a few years and learns his craft, he’ll become a polished NFL quarterback.”
Remember something: Rodgers was a bonafide stud coming out of Cal. He was a projected top 10 pick who fell to the Green Bay Packers (who couldn’t pass up such a golden opportunity).
Remember: This isn’t Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League in which a serious minor league system is in place. Only in the very rare example do players develop in the NFL through sitting. These college are either pro-ready at the time of the draft, or they simply don’t have what it takes.
Quite naturally, thanks to such names as Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and Browning Nagle, Jets fans thirst for a star under center. It’s been a long time.
In the end we come back to the same place we were before: We still have no idea whether Bryce Petty is the real deal or not. Moreover, neither do the New York Jets.
Let’s hope he is.