So far this season, the New York Jets have been better than anyone expected. It’s a surprise, but is it really a good thing?
Josh McCown is having what is on course to be the best season of his 15-year career. Despite suffering a loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, he’s led the young and depleted New York Jets roster to a surprising four wins and doesn’t seem to be finished.
However, the chances to acquire a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft are decreasing with every win. Some claim the 2018 class holds the best quarterback talent in a long time, something the Jets shouldn’t want to miss out on.
Multiple mock drafts had New York slated as the worst team in the NFL this year. This caused speculation that they would target players such as Sam Darnold from USC or Josh Rosen out of UCLA. Both quarterbacks are unique talents, with the potential to be franchise players in the NFL.
Ten weeks later, no one knows where the Jets will pick in the first round. This week, the team fell to the depleted Buccaneers and with the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs waiting for them, they could start to rack up losses.
However, Gang Green has been full of pleasant surprises this year. Who knows? Top ten? Fifteen? Wherever they earn their slot, a rookie quarterback this offseason seems unlikely.
General manager Mike Maccagnan must now prepare to explore every available option at quarterback. Considering he works for the New York Jets, this shouldn’t be difficult for him. The team needs to prepare to spend some money.
The Washington Redskins remain unable to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a contract extension and his departure from the nation’s capital this March is seeming more and more likely. San Francisco seemed to be in the running for Cousins last year, but the 49ers have their bases covered with their recent trade for Jimmy Garoppolo.
Cousins is considered middle-aged for a quarterback at 29 years old and has plenty of good football left. There will be stiff competition for his services, but for the right price, the Jets will benefit from signing him if it means securing a top talent at quarterback.
New York isn’t exactly known for developing the quarterbacks they draft, so why be upset about winning this season when doing so could attract a free agent like Kirk Cousins?
Alex Smith is also an option, currently having what seems to be an MVP-worthy season. Smith’s performance this season will call for a big payday if he hits the open market this offseason. With Patrick Mahomes ready to step up as the starter, Kansas City should save their nickels and dimes and look to the young quarterback instead. If the New York Jets were to make a run at Smith, they would have to break the bank.
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Would that much money be worth it? The answer is no. The only quarterback New York should be offering major money to in free agency this year is Kirk Cousins. Smith has never proven that he can be a true franchise quarterback. His endless years of failure in the regular season and playoffs prove it to be true.
Kirk Cousins still has the opportunity to be a franchise quarterback, holding a boatload more of potential than Alex Smith. If the Jets can win more games and prove that they have potential, they should be confident that Kirk will consider Gang Green.
New York suffered a bitter loss to Tampa Bay this week and have some tough matchups following their bye week. Despite the fact that losses may be imminent, their competitive nature must prevail. This will stand out to free agents, as they should be attracted to the roster’s potential.
So let’s not roll over for the upcoming foes just yet. The Jets have managed to win the unwinnable already this year, so who says they can’t continue?
The New York Jets have an important job this spring. Acquiring a new quarterback is never easy. Nevertheless, Mike Maccagnan has the tools in front of him and the drought for the Jets must end. Remaining competitive, proving the team is legit, and signing a franchise quarterback off the free agent market sounds more promising than tanking and hoping a drafted prospect will mold into one.