In the wise words of Queen, another one bites the dust.
That’s the sentiment from New York Jets fans on Monday afternoon as they see another veteran quarterback signing with an NFL team.
This time around it was a player with a ton of familiarity with the new-look Gang Green offense and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Veteran quarterback Nick Mullens agreed to a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, per NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. He joins a quarterback room featuring Jalen Hurts and former Jets quarterback Joe Flacco, but more importantly, another potential experienced passer is no longer coming to the green and white.
Mullens spent the first four years of his NFL career with the 49ers. He would’ve made sense as a system quarterback that is intimately familiar with what LaFleur wants to do with the Jets.
Who the Heck Is Left on the Open Market?
We can’t lie, the pickings are pretty slim at this point in the middle of June. The Jets are determined to add a veteran passer to this rotation.
Gang Green’s current depth chart is underwhelming with a pair of inexperienced players in Mike White and James Morgan. The green and white want to feel comfortable with whoever is the No. 2 quarterback behind Zach Wilson.
There are two major reasons why.
If God forbid the former BYU stud gets hurt that the season isn’t immediately over because there’s no legitimate starting option on the roster. How many times has that happened in recent memory?
The other reason is equally important: the development of Wilson. From the x’s and o’s to becoming a professional. It’s important to have someone in the room that has been there and done that.
Robert Griffin III
RG3 certainly fits the bill as someone who has been there and done that. From being the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft to getting cut. Battling through the injuries and going through all the trials and tribulations of being a franchise quarterback. That’s the perfect guy to have in the room.
On top of the off-the-field stuff, Griffin has 42 games of starting experience and is intimately familiar with this Shanahan offense. He’s clearly the best free agent still available on the open market.
The former USC stud doesn’t have nearly the same amount of experience that RG3 has, but he’d still be a viable option. Matt Barkley has bounced around over the years with three different NFL franchises (Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, and the Buffalo Bills) and has played in 19 games and has started seven of them.
His only start in a Buffalo uniform Jets fans should remember well. Back in 2018, Barkley went 15-for-25 for 232 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills beat the tar out of Gang Green winning 41-10. You know how the old saying goes if you can’t beat them, join them.
Uncle Josh? The 41-year old has almost flirted as much with retirement as Brett Favre did a decade ago. Obviously, the veteran still loves the game and is a great mentor. He did great work with Sam Darnold and was a fantastic locker room guy.
Last year he was the COVID backup, backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He stayed in Texas and was a break-the-glass emergency just in case a COVID situation arose. The Houston Texans did sign him off the practice squad halfway through the year but didn’t get on the field.
Nick Foles Is Clearly the Best Option Remaining
After working our way through the top free-agent options it has become pretty apparent the best plan for the Jets is via trade.
The Chicago Bears quarterback room is crowded. Veteran Andy Dalton is taking all the first-team reps so far this offseason. While first-rounder Justin Fields is firmly entrenched as the No. 2 passer. Where does that leave Nick Foles? Available.
Fowler also said “don’t be surprised if New York looks into this” situation this offseason. As we approach training camp at the end of July, time is of the essence here for the Jets. Especially considering the evaporating options at the backup quarterback position.
Foles is a former Super Bowl MVP, has started over 55 games in his NFL career, and could be had relatively cheaply. If a trade materializes over the next handful of weeks it would likely cost a late conditional round draft selection.