Ever since the Jets drafted Christian Hackenberg and re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, their quarterback room has been overcrowded (and still devoid of talent). With four quarterbacks on the roster — Geno Smith and Bryce Petty take up the other two spots — they might look to cut ties with one before the season.
Fitzpatrick, the team’s starter, is safe. So is Hackenberg, a second-round pick. And that leaves Smith and Petty in the danger zone.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets are fielding trade calls about their quarterbacks:
There is soft interest around the league in Smith. The Jets have fielded inquiries from teams monitoring their surplus at several positions, including quarterback. It’s a routine part of the process before final cuts next week.
Fitzpatrick and rookie Christian Hackenberg obviously aren’t going anywhere, so it’s safe to conclude that teams are inquiring about Smith, and perhaps to a lesser degree, Petty.
It’s not as if Mike Maccagnan’s phone is blowing up with teams clamoring for Smith, but there is intrigue across the league about how the Jets will handle the logjam at the most pivotal position in the sport. The Jets haven’t actively shopped Smith, but it would be silly not to consider all their options.
So, as Manish himself said, this is a “routine part of the process.” But the Jets probably do need to get rid of a quarterback. And they find themselves in quite the dilemma. Whichever quarterback the Jets hang onto will need to serve as the backup with Hackenberg developing in the backdrop.
Smith appears to be the more competent quarterback as of now. He boasts actual game experience and could serve as the backup in the near-team. But Smith has received chances to start and, well, he’s flopped, tossing eight more picks than touchdowns and posting a 72.3 rating. His long-term value is minimal, even when factoring in his A+ hat selection.
Meanwhile, Petty might not be ready to take over if Fitzpatrick goes down. He’s never taken a snap in the regular season. He is, however, cheaper than Smith and under contract through the 2018 season while Smith will become a free agent next spring. If Hackenberg doesn’t develop into a starter — let’s face it, there’s a strong chance that never ends up happening — the team would still have another young option to continue grooming.
With all that being said, it seems unlikely that any team will be willing to part ways with a mid-round pick for either quarterback. And that means the Jets will be forced to use up an extra roster spot for a fourth quarterback, or give away Smith or Petty for free. And to think, the Jets are only in this situation because they’re relying on a consistently inconsistent quarterback this season and a not-NFL-ready quarterback in the long-term.
Source: CBS Sports / Jets reportedly fielding calls about QBs, ‘soft interest’ in Geno Smith