Jets Named Landing Spot for Former No. 1 Pick QB, Pro Bowler

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

If Zach Wilson doesn’t show improvement for the New York Jets, the team might consider alternative options at quarterback.

At least that’s the thought of Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report, who suggested three trade targets the team could consider acquiring.

One of the names on his list was New Orleans Saints passer Jameis Winston.

He wrote on September 20 that it was somewhat “unfair” that the NFL world was so harshly criticizing Wilson after just a single start against one of the best defenses in the league but “that’s exactly” what is happening. Wilson was 12-of-27 for 170 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions.

Explaining Why Winston Would Be a Good Fit on the Jets

Pro Football Focus also has suggested Winston as a possible trade target.

“For all the talk about his interceptions, Winston has earned a passing grade above 65.0 in every season in which he’s attempted at least 100 passes,” PFF’s Gordon McGuinness wrote in a story published September 12. “He will make mistakes, but he has a big-time throw percentage of 4.3% for his career, which would have ranked inside the top 20 at the position last season.”

He has had an up-and-down nine-year career since becoming the No. 1 overall pick in 2015. He went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie that year, but he has been pegged as a backup quarterback for the past three seasons.

Tansey said Winston, 29, would be one of the “most logical quarterbacks” for the Jets to target because of his wealth of experience.

He has appeared in 86 games, making 80 starts during with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Saints.

Tansey suggested that if Winston wanted one more whack as a starting QB in the NFL, then the Jets might be his best ticket. “Winston does not have a path to playing time in New Orleans with Derek Carr on top of the depth chart,” Tansey wrote.

This offseason, Carr, 32, signed a four-year deal for $150 million, with over $100 million in total guarantees.

On the other hand, Winston currently signed to a one-year deal for $4 million and is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Winston Would Make the Jets Offense Fun at the Very Least

The former Florida State quarterback is a wild man.

He has thrown 139 touchdown passes in his career, but he also has 96 interceptions to his name. In 2019, he had a career-high 33 touchdown passes but was shackled by a career-high 30 interceptions.

That is the seventh most picks thrown in a single season in NFL history.

In other words, Winston’s play might make you pull your hair out on one play and then celebrate on another. He is the absolute definition of a gunslinger, and you just have to accept at the beginning that will always be a part of his game.

With the number of playmakers on the Jets offense, a player like Winston could certainly help maximize their productivity.

A total implosion notwithstanding, the Jets appear committed to Wilson, probably at least through the Week 7 bye, at which point the team’s quarterback situation could be reassessed ahead of the October 31 trade deadline. If Gang Green is competitive and Wilson is playing well, they will stick with the kid throughout the rest of the season. However, if there are turbulent waters, the Jets might not want to waste the rest of the 2023 season.

Winston would be a relatively cheap option both financially and trade compensation wise for the Jets if they decided to go in that direction.

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