There hasn’t been much chatter about the New York Jets’ backup quarterback situation heading into 2023.
On Thursday, March 2 head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the future of Mike White and whether or not the team would like him back next season.
“Oh yeah, I feel like I should be talking about him more. Mike deserves every bit to be talked about. He should be on this roster,” Saleh said during his virtual NFL Combine presser with the media. “You know we carried three [quarterbacks] last year. Again he is going through his process and it’s something obviously we are keeping close tabs on.”
Mike White’s Free Agency, Importance of a Backup QB
Backup quarterbacks are often the most popular player on the roster. They are just one injury away from being thrust into the spotlight.
Jets fans know this all too well. It has been eight years since the Jets last had a quarterback start a full season from pillar to post (Ryan Fitzpatrick).
Gang Green has made it known that they’re pursuing an array of veteran quarterback options this offseason. However, the backup job has flown under the radar this offseason.
Currently the Jets only have two quarterbacks currently under contract with Zach Wilson and Chris Streveler in the fold.
White is scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency when the new league year kicks off on March 15.
Feeling Might Not Be Mutual Between Mike White and the Jets
While it seems like by all accounts the Jets want White back, it’s unclear if White feels the same way.
Brian Costello of the New York Post raised that very question on Twitter.
“I don’t see why Mike White would come back to the Jets who will have an expensive vet QB and Zach on the roster. He should get a good backup deal from someone.”
The Jets are going to sign a veteran and they have been adamant they want to keep Wilson on the team. Where would White fit into that dynamic?
At best he’s a very awkward QB2 stuck between an expensive clear starter and a player that was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
White will have much better options on the market that will both pay him more and provide him with a much clearer path to playing time.
Rich Cimini of ESPN believes he will be able to command between $4 million and $8 million per year on a multiyear contract in free agency.
For example what about the Los Angeles Rams? Mike LaFleur, the Jets former offensive coordinator, landed the OC gig out on the west coast.
In theory, White could follow his old coach and be QB2 for the Rams. The starter for Los Angeles, Matthew Stafford, only appeared in nine games last season and he’s 35 years of age.
With Stafford’s well-documented injury history, White could have a clear path to the starting gig of a Sean McVay offense. The Rams would likely have deeper pockets to give him a better contract than what the Jets could offer in 2023.
For those very same reasons, the Jets might have a tough time convincing a quarterback to come to New York to be the backup on the open market. There would be a very odd dynamic that wouldn’t provide a clear answer to a complicated quarterback problem.