Jets Projected to Land Heisman-Winning Quarterback

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh celebrating after a huge play in an NFL game.

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh recently made a bold claim about his quarterback room.

He said that he believes they have “three starting quarterbacks” on their roster in reference to Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White.

However, heading into 2022 only one of those three is under contract. That has raised a ton of speculation on social media about what is coming next in 2023.

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A Name to Circle on Your Sheet

Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated recently wrote his 2023 NFL QB carousel article where he tried to predict where everyone will land next offseason.

One name that came up was Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota. He signed a one-year deal this offseason to serve as the starter for the Falcons as they navigate through this weird rebuilding phase.

Orr predicted that his next stop in 2023 will be in New York with the Jets:

“If the Jets decide to part ways with Joe Flacco after this offseason, Mariota would be a solid competitive presence behind Zach Wilson.”

The 28-year-old originally entered the NFL as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.

Mariota proved to be a capable dual-threat quarterback that put up some solid statistics in his career:

  • 77 passing touchdowns to 45 interceptions
  • 13,437 passing yards
  • 1,574 rushing yards

However, the Tennessee Titans were underwhelmed and took a trade flier on Ryan Tannehill who eventually took the job. That has thrust the former Oregon product into a reserve role over the last few years with Tennessee and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Evaluating the Situation

Wilson is the only quarterback under contract currently for the 2023 season.

Flacco is 37 years of age and by next offseason will be 38. It is fair to question how much more gas he has left in the tank.

White will also be a free agent after signing his RFA (restricted free agent) tender this offseason. Is he cool being a backup? During previous media opportunities, he has shared his desire to eventually be a starting quarterback.

If the former BYU stud balls out, the way the Jets believe he will, that future starting opportunity won’t come here in New York. This means White could be destined for greener pastures elsewhere.

When you consider all of those fun facts, a Mariota to Jets connection doesn’t seem all that crazy.

The former highly touted Oregon product and ex-Heisman trophy winner is 28 years of age now, by next offseason he will be just 29. In theory, he could be the long-term backup the Jets have been desperately seeking for years.

If that wasn’t attractive enough, the Jets could also use his dual-threat ability in some unique packages. During his time with the Raiders, they used him situationally and you’d have to imagine offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur would have a field day in 2023.

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