The Jets might benefit from acquiring a veteran backup quarterback to assist in the development of rookie Zach Wilson.
No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson is the clearcut favorite to win the Jets‘ starting quarterback job, and barring injury, it should remain that way.
But in all likelihood, there’s a benefit to employing a veteran backup who carries starting experience — if Wilson was to miss some time due to a health-related setback, the Jets would be better off possessing reliable reinforcements.
At the moment, New York employs 2020 fourth-rounder James Morgan and Mike White alongside Wilson in the quarterback room, neither of whom have taken a regular-season snap.
Could another head be added?
“Once these minicamps are over, obviously we’ll sit down with [general manager] Joe [Douglas] again, and we’ll have a conversation about where the roster is and make the decision during the next few weeks,” head coach Robert Saleh told Brian Costello of the New York Post Tuesday.
The possible acquisition of a veteran backup, however, may not be at the top of Saleh’s list when it comes to roster needs.
While you could argue the backup quarterback role is one of the most important on the depth chart and employing a serviceable second-string is crucial, Saleh may see some value in keeping the current status of the position group.
“There’s that balance of someone needs a veteran to help him, also there’s [Morgan], there’s also Mike White. There’s a lot of reps to be had for them, to see where they’re at. They deserve that opportunity to showcase who they are. There’s a balancing act there,” Saleh said to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “Mike and [James] Morgan have been doing a good job. I know they’ve had their ups and downs, just like Zach has but, it doesn’t mean that just because they’re veterans it’ll help the quarterback. There’s a match that has to happen, there’s a scheme familiarity that has to happen. If you just bring in a veteran that doesn’t know anything about your scheme, he’s learning just like the rookie is. Aside from helping him rehab, and regen, and study habits, which I think Zach, and that entire quarterback room, is already ahead of the curve on, with how they handle their bodies and study.
“I don’t know if there’s much value aside from being comfortable that if something hits the fan, that you have a veteran who’s played football. It’s more of a comforting feeling, rather than trying to work your ass off to develop the quarterbacks that are already in the building.”
The conversation comes in the midst of quarterback Nick Mullens (who was with Saleh for a number of years in San Francisco) signing with the Eagles earlier this week. Mullens could’ve joined the Jets roster but wouldn’t have been the most superb option.
Mullens has started only 16 games in his career (19 games total) and has recorded just an 87.2 passer rating throughout that span. He’s additionally thrown 25 touchdowns and 22 picks — not a spectacular ratio.
The Jets’ best bet to acquire a serviceable veteran with legitimate starting experience may be through the trade market. Maybe they can offer an asset or two for Packers quarterback Blake Bortles? Or Bears quarterback Nick Foles?
Time will tell how the Jets decide to approach this potential issue. But at the moment, the James Morgan-Mike White tandem isn’t the greatest support system behind QB1.
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