The New York Jets might roll with a familiar name at the game’s most important position in 2023.
ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates was tasked with predicting who will be the starting quarterback for each of the 32 NFL franchises. In his prognostications, Yates suggested San Francisco 49ers passer Jimmy Garoppolo would ultimately be the guy for Gang Green.
“Garoppolo has his ties to this franchise as well, having started for the 49ers when Jets coach Robert Saleh and several other New York coaches were on that staff under Kyle Shanahan. Finding the right terms to bring in Garoppolo is a challenge, though,” Yates explained in an ESPN column posted on Wednesday, March 1. “He’s coming off another significant injury (left foot), but he’s a major upgrade — Zach Wilson has struggled through two seasons and was benched in 2022 — and would provide substantial leadership.”
Two of the most popular names that have been connected to the Jets this offseason were predicted to land at other locations. Aaron Rodgers was projected to stay in Green Bay with the Packers and Derek Carr was predicted to sign in Carolina with the Panthers according to Yates.
Examining the Jimmy Garoppolo Potential Contract in NFL Free Agency
Yates said “finding the right terms” contractually for Garppolo will be a “challenge” but he provided some insight on the topic while at the NFL Combine.
“If you look at the quarterback market now the reality is the middle tier no longer exists. You’re either on the rookie contract or this is kind of amazing to think about it this way, start naming guys on a veteran contract and they’re all making $40 million plus,” Yates explained during an appearance on the official Jets Podcast. “The thing I don’t know about Jimmy G or Derek Carr, does the contract begin with a 4? Does it begin with a 3? I think a 4 is a big number for Jimmy G, but it’s not going to be like you get him for $18 million a year. I can’t imagine. I’d think $25 million [per year] is the floor for Jimmy G and maybe the answer is more like $30 million or $32 million [per year].”
The 31-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his professional career.
Garoppolo started his career as the No. 62 overall pick in the second round by the New England Patriots. He spent his first three seasons with the Pats before he was traded to the 49ers in the middle of 2017.
The Jets Path to Jimmy Garoppolo
If the Jets miss out on Carr and Rodgers, like what happened in Fields’ prediction for ESPN, Garoppolo could quickly become the best option available.
The former Eastern Illinois product won’t reach the open market until the new league year kicks off on March 15. Although the Jets and every other NFL team will be allowed to speak with him on March 13 during the legal tampering period.
With all of the natural connections between Garoppolo and the Jets coaching staff (Saleh), this could be a deal that comes together quickly.
Gang Green has a clear and obvious need at the quarterback position and Jimmy G wants to go somewhere he can win.
With all of the talent on the Jets roster, they appear to be a quarterback away from truly competing in the AFC.