“He can start in this league,” Saleh told reporters. “I believe that. Sometimes this league has a tendency to put labels on people, and then their opportunities kind of get limited. But Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this league. He’s really, really talented.”
We shouldn’t cry too much for Flacco. He’s made about $170 million in his career, according to Spotrac. He won a Super Bowl. He was a full-time starter for 10-plus seasons with the Ravens before Lamar Jackson’s emergence. Plus Flacco has still managed to start 13 games for the Broncos and Jets over the last three year. If he plays his cards right, he can probably collect good money until he’s 40 or so.
But what about Saleh pumping Flacco’s tires? There are three ways to look at this.
The boring (and perhaps likely) explanation: Saleh got asked a question and he answered it with a bit of a flourish. He believes Flacco could start, he wanted to make his guy feel good and to also help everyone who reports on and writes about the Jets get through the day. God bless coaches who do this.
The really good reason? Zach Wilson has impressed the Jets to the point they’re hoping to gin up a trade market for Flacco. A long shot, but you never know. Someone loses a starter in a preseason game and bam, Joe Douglas has an extra mid-round pick under his belt. Mike White’s presence gives the Jets some flexibility to let Flacco go if the price is right.
Conversely, the bad possibility: Wilson has underwhelmed the Jets and this is Saleh trying to light a fire under his butt. Which would not be ideal.
It’s probably Door No. 1. Jets fans would love for the second one. People will get fired if it’s the third one.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]