On Monday evening, to cap off the first week of activities in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers played his first game in a Jets uniform while the New York team awaited the Buffalo Bills under the theme of a tribute to the first responders of September 11, 2001.
The good news for the Jets is a great win in overtime after an emotional match. Bad: Aaron Rodgers left the game in the first minute with an ankle injury and the team fears a torn Achilles tendon will end their season before it really starts.
If necessary, the team that has woven an alignment around the veteran to have a real chance at the Super Bowl this season will have to make a decision for the rest of the year. Do we trust young quarterback Zach Wilson…or do we look for options elsewhere?
The second pick in the 2021 draft behind Trevor Lawrence, Wilson has played two tough seasons with the Jets since coming to the NFL and the acquisition of Rodgers was both a rejection and an attempt to provide him with much-needed guidance to find his rhythm. Among professionals.
Without Rodgers on the field, both plans are derailed and Monday night’s game gave us a taste of the style of offense available to the Jets with Wilson at the controls. Short games, lots of running and reliance on defensive turnovers.
Despite his struggles behind center, Wilson is the most likely option for the remainder of the season with the Jets. At least, in the short term. However, with the current roster and solid aspirations to make some noise in the playoffs, there won’t be much room for maneuver.
So let’s take a look at the options available to help the team.
2022: 1755 yards, 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions
The former second overall pick is nearing the end of his career and has yet to receive a contract offer after moving to the Commanders in 2022.
With a record of 2 wins and 5 losses and weak statistics as a starter, Wentz is not necessarily an attractive option, but he still has big-time experience and can provide a steady presence behind center.
At just 31 years old, Wentz may still have some gas in the tank.
2022: 858 yards, 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions
Limited to a reserve role with the arrival of Derek Carr in New Orleans, Winston already led the NFL in passing yards and it was mainly injuries that derailed his stay in Louisiana.
Before his 2021 season was ruined by injury, Winston had a record of 5 wins and 2 losses with the Saints. In 2022, it was his back that slowed down his season. On the other hand, he has looked healthy this year due to his limited usage during preparation matches.
Winston’s powerful arm, with a few weeks of adjustment, could develop great chemistry with Garrett Wilson. Otherwise, the risk of a long game could open up short fields for the Jets’ ground game. In both cases, it is interesting as an alternative solution.
2022: 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions
Another reserve due to circumstances, Jacoby Brissett awaits Deshaun Watson’s return to Washington in 2022 after an interesting season for the Browns.
At 30 years old, Brissett has 48 starts and knows how to run a competent offense.
He particularly demonstrated with the Colts that a diverse game could pass through his hands. He also knows the division having played for the Patriots. On the other hand, Washington needs his presence behind young Sam Howell. An insurance policy like Brissett would certainly be costly for the Jets.
2022: 780 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions
When he camped with the Cardinals, the team cut him short before the start of the campaign despite an injury to Kyler Murray. The veteran likely doesn’t fit into Arizona’s plans, but he’s healthy and ready for action.
McCoy, on the other hand, is likely a limited option. That’s certainly a bargain on the market, we can bet his phone is going to be ringing for at least one tryout with the team in practice.
Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and, yes, Tom Brady.
Why not ?
Ryan is now a TV analyst and his last season with the Colts was not particularly convincing. But if he feels the urge to put the shoulder pads back on, he could jump into action and fuel the Jets’ young arms.
Flacco, on the other hand, is familiar with the system and has had some success with the team. But at the end of his stay his statistics were also poor.
Finally, there lives the eternal Tom Brady. The same guy who always smiles when asked if he’s going to return to the NFL. Imagine the scenario: Brady in New York, in the same division as the Patriots.
The world isn’t ready, but it will be wildly entertaining.
Obviously one to watch, hopefully injury doesn’t end Rodgers’ career prematurely.