Jets’ QB Trade Suggestions Feature Former Top-3 Pick

Mitchell Trubisky

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in 2022.

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh made one thing clear when he addressed the media on September 12: Zach Wilson is the starting quarterback going forward.

Having said that, the Jets are still actively pursuing a veteran QB to add to the room behind him according to The Athletic’s NFL insider Dianna Russini. And while the emphasis has mostly been on free agency so far, there are a few trade candidates that jump out from an availability perspective.

One logical partner could be the Pittsburgh Steelers — who currently have two solid backups behind youthful starter Kenny Pickett.

Steelers Writer Suggests Jets QB Trade for Mitchell Trubisky or Mason Rudolph

Sports Illustrated Steelers writer Noah Strackbein offered Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph as backup QB options after the Rodgers injury, and he made some good points.

“Chances are [the Steelers are] deadlocked on the second-year QB [Pickett] starting all 17 games this season,” Strackbein began, “which means they have two options to trade with a team that needs a passer – like the New York Jets.”

The headliner is Trubisky, a former No. 2 overall pick that bears a lot of similarities to Wilson himself. Not only were they drafted at the same spot in the order, but both struggled with accuracy and progressions out of the gate.

Still, like Wilson in 2022, Trubisky has also proven that he knows how to win with a 32-24 record on his career despite uninspiring statistics as a passer. Plus, he appears to have learned from his demotion from face of the franchise to high-level backup.

Although Trubisky offers a lower ceiling than Wilson at age 29, he’s a capable No. 2 that has slight playoff experience and a similar play style as the current Jets QB1.

Of course, the Steelers could prefer to keep Trubisky as the first man up behind Pickett, which brings us to their QB3. “Mason Rudolph is the name everyone will toss out immediately,” Strackbein noted. “Every time a team needs a quarterback, he’s the one that draws attention out of Pittsburgh. He’s third on the depth chart and hasn’t started a game since 2021, and there’s little chance he will do so this season, either.”

Rudolph is a former third-round pick in 2018 that is probably an upgrade on Tim Boyle, but not Wilson. He has a career 61.5 completion percentage, 2.9 interception rate (high) and 139.2 yards per game average.

In other words, Rudolph might be serviceable but he’s not an ideal starter for a team looking to make the playoffs. Strackbein suggested a fifth-round selection as the return from the Jets, which is what the Arizona Cardinals paid for Josh Dobbs.

Texans & Cowboys Have Similar 3-QB Situations Worth Looking Into

Two other hypothesized trade scenarios for the Jets have targeted Houston Texans veteran Case Keenum and Dallas Cowboys veteran Cooper Rush.

“An interesting trade name for the Jets that hasn’t been mentioned much and could make some sense: Texans QB Case Keenum,” The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov spoke into existence on September 12.

“Houston already has CJ Stroud and Davis Mills on the roster,” he explained. “Keenum has plenty of playing experience and would fit the Jets’ offensive scheme. Zach Wilson is the guy for now, but the Jets will need to add another QB regardless. As you’d expect, they are exploring all potential options.”

Keenum is the definition of an NFL journeyman, appearing in games for seven different franchises over the past decade. He turned 35 in February but would offer the Jets experience and professionalism. Keenum’s best run as a starter was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 — which yielded an 11-3 record and one playoff victory.

The Texans are also rebuilding, so it might make sense to ship off the veteran for draft capital and roll with a youthful room featuring Stroud and Mills.

Lastly, we have the Cowboys and Rush. “I do think Cooper Rush should get consideration in a trade scenario since the Cowboys have Trey Lance [now],” stated CBS Sports insider Josina Anderson on September 13.

Rush should be a top target, if available. The career backup has a 5-1 record when called upon, with a gamer mentality despite a low career completion percentage (58.7%). The question is, would Dallas trade him?

Sure, the Lance acquisition could heat things up for Rush, but the Cowboys are also a team with Super Bowl aspirations that loves what their current QB2 offers — consistency, knowledge of the system/playbook, and stability.

Lance, for all his talents, has proven none of those things. It’s hard to see Dallas putting him one injury away from the responsibility of their entire season.

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Matthew O'Leary
Matthew O'Leary
11 days ago

I’d pass on Mitch tbh