If there’s one thing we can be sure of about the Jets right now, it’s that they want an established veteran quarterback to lead the offense. Head coach Robert Saleh said that himself. Team owner Woody Johnson has been pretty open about New York’s intentions, too.
Gang Green’s interest in Aaron Rodgers has been well-documented. What’s still waiting to be determined is if the four-time NFL MVP is both available and interested in playing for the Jets. As that wait continues, New York has been courting free-agent quarterback, Derek Carr.
He visited the Jets’ facility not too long ago. Carr also reportedly met with Johnson at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week. In speaking with the media on Thursday, Saleh made some interesting comments about the team’s quarterback situation.
It’s clear that the team doesn’t want former second-overall pick Zach Wilson starting under center next year. We’ve all just assumed he’d be the backup to whomever the Jets are able to acquire. But maybe that’s not the case.
Mike White, the man who briefly provided hope that the Jets could have a halfway decent quarterback, is currently an unrestricted free agent. While he probably won’t get any offers to start anywhere in 2023, White should get a good deal to be a backup. Saleh thinks he should be back with Gang Green, though:
Saleh says they're keeping close tabs on Mike White and says he "should be" on the roster. Saleh likes keeping three QBs. (White is a UFA) #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 2, 2023
We don’t know what White’s market looks like just yet. However, one would imagine he wouldn’t want to re-sign with New York if it meant he’d be the QB3. But as Wilson tries to rebuild himself from the ground up, maybe this is a hint that he won’t be the backup.
Or, maybe Wilson is indeed on the trade market despite his guaranteed salaries each of the next two seasons? Saleh has been quite adamant about his support of Wilson, both in the present and heading into the future. But, riddle me this — have you heard Saleh ever mention the possibility of Wilson playing for a team that’s not the Jets?
He said that on Thursday during his session with the media:
First time I’ve ever heard Robert Saleh say Zach Wilson “could” play somewhere other than NY.
Asked what happens to Wilson if a veteran QB in his early 30s joins the team? Saleh says the goal is for Wilson to improve….here or elsewhere #takeflight pic.twitter.com/YAGlukcXDl
— jamie stuart (@jamiestuartTV) March 2, 2023
Well, well, well. The above comments just might be music to the ears of Jets fans. Based on the situation, it may not be fair to completely dismiss Wilson as an NFL bust just yet. However, Jets fans may have had their fill of him already. That might also be the case regarding the guys in New York’s locker room.
So, maybe this is a change-of-scenery situation. As we get closer to NFL free agency opening up on March 15th, we’ll get more of a sense as to exactly what the Jets are thinking. And this goes for not just who their starting quarterback will be, but how the QB depth chart will ideally look heading into Week 1 of the 2023 regular season.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.