Jets QB Search Blocked by 53-Man Promotion: Report

Brett Rypien

Getty Los Angeles Rams quarterback Brett Rypien during the 2023 preseason.

The New York Jets are actively looking for a third quarterback — and likely backup to current starter Zach Wilson.

According to insiders Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, a candidate emerged earlier this week — but the Jets were blocked from poaching said QB.

“Source: The Jets expressed interest to sign [Los Angeles] Rams QB Brett Rypien to their 53-man roster this week,” Jones reported on September 14. “Rypien, who played under Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett in Denver, opted to stay with the Rams and join their active roster after L.A. placed Stetson Bennett on the reserve/NFI list.”

Fowler added that the Rams “protected” Rypien by awarding him a spot on the 53-man roster rather than elevating him from the practice squad on gameday.

Brett Rypien Is an Uninspiring Backup QB Candidate for Jets

Fans are unlikely to get all that upset over this QB miss. Rypien displayed some spunk with the Denver Broncos over the past few seasons, appearing in eight games and starting three (2-1 record), but his name doesn’t exactly move the needle.

Two of those starts actually came against the Jets of all teams, so Gang Green nation should remember the Boise State product better than most fanbases. Perhaps that played into general manager Joe Douglas’ interest, but the main reason was the one that Jones mentioned — Rypien learned Hackett’s system last year in Denver, and that gives him a leg up on most potential newcomers.

Still, this candidate is somewhat uninspiring if you follow media and fan theory. He’s not a veteran like Matt Ryan — who can assist Wilson during the game with Aaron Rodgers missing on his rehab assignment — or a high-end free agent like Carson Wentz or Nick Foles.

Nor is he an intriguing trade target from a team with multiple quarterbacks.

No, Rypien is a borderline 53-man talent that is on a similar level as Tim Boyle. He actually beat Sam Darnold’s Jets in 2020 with an up and down two-touchdown, three-interception performance, but lost to Wilson and NYJ in 2022 — throwing for a 52.17 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 56.9. The Broncos only scored nine points during that second meeting.

Jets QB2 Search May Have Fewer Candidates Than It Seems

The Jets may not have landed Rypien, but their interest does give you a sense of who’s actually available at the quarterback position — and the list might be a lot worse than fans think.

With the new third quarterback rule in 2023, teams are less likely to part with a reliable arm that’s stashed on their bench. After all, it’s only Week 2 and injuries can occur at any moment.

No one wants to become this year’s version of the San Francisco 49ers, playing in an NFC championship game without a healthy QB, and that could impact the type of talent that the Jets are able to acquire.

Free agents are obviously still available, assuming they want to play. The top names in that regard are the aforementioned Wentz, Cam Newton, Foles, Colt McCoy, Matt Barkley and ex-Jets Trevor Siemian, Joe Flacco and Chris Streveler — not ideal.

Of course, there are also retired players like Ryan, Philip Rivers, Chase Daniel and 2022-23 Super Bowl champion Chad Henne — who the Jets already inquired about according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz.

For now, the Jets will roll into Week 2 with Wilson and Boyle ahead of a difficult matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. The latter is still on the practice squad at the moment, but head coach Robert Saleh noted that he will be elevated on Sunday.

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