$2.75 Million Jets Veteran Has ‘Secured’ a Brand New Contract

Greg Zuerlein, Jets

Getty New York Jets veteran Greg Zuerlein, lining up for a kick during an NFL game.

The New York Jets suffered an absolutely heartbreaking loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, December 4.

It was a game that many argued they could have, would have, and probably should have won but alas they did not. After a quick reset, the Jets will quickly turn their attention to the No. 1 seeded Buffalo Bills in Week 14.

Before we get there our pair of experts: Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden and Michael Obermuller are equipped and ready to answer your questions in a Monday mailbag.

Mike White QB1, Mike LaFleur Job Security, & Jets Benching

1. Has Mike White done enough in his two starts to solidify his status as QB1 for the rest of the season?


I think Robert Saleh has the correct mentality here, keep it on a week-to-week basis. After the first half, I was starting to wonder what quarterback we would see in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills, but then White stepped up in the clutch and delivered on several really gutsy moments.

The QB scramble straight through a linebacker and the fourth-down ball to Corey Davis was probably his best two plays in my opinion.

To me, that was enough to earn him another start, and then in another week, we can revisit the conversation. Was White perfect? Not at all. He overthrew a wide-open Garrett Wilson on a touchdown and was somewhat inaccurate during the first two quarters.

Having said that, we’ve seen worse. For now, I’d stick with him for another game.

Boy Green:

Mike White was noticeably off in the Minnesota Vikings game as it pertains to his ball location. There were some dropped passes but White could have placed those better.

However, how he responded in the second half with the money throw on fourth down after getting destroyed and his overall rallying of the team, of course, means he deserves another shot.

To be candid it would have to take an abysmal Buffalo Bills implosion with like three or four picks for me to make a change at quarterback to someone else.

I love Zach Wilson, but outside of injury, he is going to ride the bench for the rest of this season. Perhaps in the offseason, he will have time to complete his full reset, but for now, this is the Mike White show.

2. The Jets benched Max Mitchell in the middle of the Vikings game. Should they stick with George Fant or go back to the rookie?


I sort of missed this initially, then realized Fant was in there later on. I’m guessing he was benched after Za’Darius Smith flew past him for a sack, but I couldn’t tell you for sure.

My stance on this is pretty clear. I think Mitchell is the future and Fant will be out the door in two months.

Will the rookie make mistakes? Sure, but I’d rather see him learn and develop for the remainder of the season. After all, he could be a key piece in 2023.

Boy Green:

We talked about that Saleh decision in a long column here if you’d like more details.

Gang Green made the right call in the moment, but in terms of who should start at right tackle against the Bills in Week 14? Whoever best gets the job done.

Fant looked better stepping in, but Mitchell has done a great job in his stead. It isn’t an easy answer, but the good news is they are both team guys and whatever decision is made won’t ruffle feathers.

3. Mike LaFleur struggled mightily in red zone play calling during that Vikings loss (1-for-6), should he be fired? If not, how long should his leash be as the play-caller moving forward?


First of all, there’s no way the Jets fire LaFleur before the end of the season. That’s coming from someone who has been extremely critical of the NYJ play-caller too.

I think there’s an outside chance they move on from him after the year is over, but only if this offense is miserable the rest of the way. In other words, it has to be obvious that LaFleur is the only thing holding them back from winning. Right now, that’s not the case.

I also think Saleh is too close to the LaFleur family to make this sort of bold decision. He’s compromised, in a way, and that could end up being his undoing if things don’t change for the better.

LaFleur has shown promise but much like Zach Wilson, he needs to become more consistent both as a teacher and a coordinator. Gun to my head, I think he gets the 2023 campaign to prove himself before Joe Douglas and Saleh even think about moving on.

Boy Green:

Did LaFleur suck in the red zone? Without a doubt, he went 1-for-6 for Pete’s sake.

Did he also generate nearly 500 yards of offense with *checks notes* his at one-time freaking third-string quarterback? You bet your sweet cheeks he did.

There needs to be a sense of accountability, despite the familial connections. However, LaFleur has done much more good than bad this season.

The red zone stuff is unacceptable and if he was cleaner in that area the Jets win the game. LaFleur needs to clean this up moving forward or he won’t have a job in the future. For now, though LaFleur is here to stay and he has the leash at the very least through this season if not longer.

Predictions and Jets Contract Extension Talk

4. Which Jets player/coach on the roster deserves to win an award this season and why?


There are some pretty obvious candidates like Quinnen Williams for Pro Bowl or Sauce Gardner for DROY but how about an outside-of-the-box answer?

Mr. Douglas, you deserve to be the NFL Executive of the Year. After struggling in free agency his first couple of years, this 2022 class has been outstanding with D.J. Reed and Jordan Whitehead turning into integral starters on defense (can’t forget Kwon Alexander or sticking with Lamarcus Joyner). On offense, J.D. also added two veteran tight ends and filled numerous holes on the O-line, shuffling the roster on a weekly basis due to injuries.

Next, you have to bring the draft into the equation. Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons and Mitchell have all either lived up to expectations or exceeded them. I mean, talk about a slam dunk of a class, especially if Jeremy Ruckert turns into a starting TE someday.

This roster has been totally overhauled from Mike Maccagnan to Douglas and we’re finally seeing just how great of a job our GM has done.

Boy Green:

I think it’s safe to say that Greg Zuerlein has secured a long-term deal with the gosh darn Jets.

He set a franchise record with a 60-yard make. Zuerlein made five field goals on the day versus the Vikings (a season-high). Ever since his rocky start in Week 1, Legatron has been the MVP of this Jets season.

He originally joined the team on a one-year deal for $2.75 million and it is only a matter of time before the 34-year-old inks a long-term deal to remain the Jets placekicker for the foreseeable future.

5. Up next the Jets will travel to Buffalo for a rematch with the Bills, who comes out on top and why? (MO 8-4, BG 7-5 in picking Jets games this season)


I have to admit, if we did our picks on Friday rather than Monday, I might have picked the Jets to beat the Vikings with Christian Darrisaw out and all the Mike White fever taking hold. Having said that, I stuck with my gut that they would come up just short and that ended up being the result.

I was even less confident about Week 14 in Buffalo at the time and I’m still having trouble envisioning an NYJ sweep of the Bills. This is a revenge game for the new AFC East leader and I don’t think the Jets catch them sleeping this time, especially on the road.

Even without Von Miller, Buffalo is the better team right now and Josh Allen is the better quarterback. Not to mention Sean McDermott created the blueprint for shutting down White in 2021. I’ll take the Bills to even the score, winning 24-16.

Boy Green:

To be honest this is a gravy game for the Jets.

No one gave this team a lick of a chance in this two-game series heading into the season and yet they already have one win in the books.

All of the pressure is on Buffalo to even this series to climb back to .500 in the division. That is a perfect place to be for the Jets.

Of course, this game would be massively important not only in the AFC playoff race but potentially in the divisional race.

The Bills placed veteran pass rusher, Von Miller, on IR and that completely changes the dynamic of this game. Not only do I think the Jets can cover the -9.5 opening line on this game, I think Gang Green can win this game and secure the sweep.

They were able to win with Zach Wilson not doing anything crazy. White has proven more capable than that in his opportunities. Give me the Jets to pull off a magical upset winning this one 29-26 over the Bills.

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