As it stands, Zach Wilson is the sole quarterback under contract with the New York Jets.
That will obviously change before OTAs but will the backup quarterback conversation be as complicated as it was last offseason? The Jets opened with Mike White and James Morgan behind Wilson, only to bring in Josh Johnson towards the end of the summer after the first two struggled.
Then despite White’s brief emergence, Joe Douglas traded for more experience in the form of Joe Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP and 14-year NFL pro. The move was met with skepticism but paid dividends for Wilson’s development long-term.
Now, it appears Flacco might be headed back to New York for the second time.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
‘Mutual Interest’ in Flacco Return
On March 9, ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that the “Jets are in talks with Joe Flacco.”
He continued: “There’s mutual interest. [Robert] Saleh wants to run it back with Wilson-Flacco-White.”
This echoes the statement that the Jets HC made back at his end-of-year press conference when he told reporters that “it’d be perfect if we can get them all back.” Saleh noted that he would “be vocal” in re-signing Flacco.
The tail-end of Cimini’s tweet is also positive news for those that want White back in 2022. Being that the cult hero is a restricted free agent, the Jets should be able to get a deal done if they want to.
That would create two keys for this quarterback room moving forward: Familiarity and comradery.
Follow the Heavy On Jets Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest NYJ-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
Wilson’s Improvements With Flacco
No one can truly measure the impact of Greg Knapp’s tragic death last summer but what we do know is that the coach’s passing left a hole within the organization.
Not only was Wilson left without a mentor, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese lost their steady hand as they embarked on uncharted territory. Even after the organization inked advisor Matt Cavanaugh and the aforementioned journeyman, Johnson, this unit was missing something.
Knapp wasn’t just knowledgeable, he was successful. He had coached some of the best to play the sport throughout some of the best moments of their careers. The Jets needed a mentor but they also needed a winner.
In came Flacco and I’ll be the first to admit, I hated the trade at the time. Clearly, I was wrong.
After his arrival, the long-time Baltimore Ravens signal-caller voiced that he doesn’t “necessarily see veteran players as always being the best mentors,” including himself in that statement. It was a scary comment at the time but in the end, Flacco proved to be more modest than arrogant.
Wilson improved two-fold with Flacco in the building and praised the sage many times during the final stretch of the season. Over that span, the rookie gunslinger threw zero interceptions with one lone turnover. Different NFL experts even touted the BYU product for his turnaround.
Who knows where the confidence level of the second overall pick might be right now if Douglas hadn’t brought in the veteran at the deadline. Sometimes, it’s the small decisions that make all the difference.