At this very moment, it looks like the most likely starting quarterback for the New York Jets in Week 1 will be Geno Smith. Sitting with the sixth pick in the draft, behind teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans who are desperate for signal callers themselves, it’s unclear how the Jets can snag either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota in the first round. Someone like Brett Hundley or Bryce Petty would be a reach so early, but are realistic options in the second round
New General Manager Mike Maccagnan will almost certainly pick up a quarterback at some point during the draft, but depending on when that happens, that selection won’t be ready to start by the time the season rolls around. This means that the Jets may be going back to the most arid well in the land, Geno Smith.
I think there’s no hope for Geno Smith. He has some talent, but he lacks some of the elementary skills of an NFL quarterback, such as the ability to read a defense, and the ability to not an open receiver work way too hard to catch a pass.
I saw what I saw in the final game of the year, and I was as shocked as you were. He finally put it all together for four quarters.
But where was that before?
Will it ever happen again?
Probably not at all, and absolutely not to that extent.
The Jets are a team that is close to making the playoffs if they upgrade their secondary, and get a better quarterback. Even if Smith isn’t a lost cause, as I think he is, everyone can agree that he won’t be good enough take the Jets to the playoffs in 2015, no matter who is on offense around them.
So if not through the draft, where are we going to find the guy who can lead the team for the next year, most likely as a temporary fill in for whatever Maccagnan drafts?
Trading for someone isn’t a good option.
Jay Cutler costs too much money, and while I think he’s going to the best of the available options for the next few years, his cap hit will be upwards of $17 million every year through 2020, when he’ll be 36. Making a trade for Sam Bradford would be stupid because Sam Bradford is terrible. I’m hearing that Ryan Mallett is also a potential target in a trade, but he’s unproven. Brian Hoyer regressed as the season went along.
Looking at the free agents, things look bleak. Jake Locker is always injured, and I’m not sure that he’s very good even when healthy. Josh McCown and Jason Campbell aren’t good enough.
The Jets need a solid player who can keep the team relevant while Hundley, Petty, or Garrett Grayson try to improve during practice, until they’re ready to take over, at which point the veteran that the Jets acquire should be okay with being relegated to a backup role for the rest of the year, and for 2016 as well.
There is one man who fits this description perfectly, and he is probably the most overlooked quarterback in the NFL.
Enter: Matt Moore.
This is the man who was replaced by Jimmy Clausen in Carolina simply because the Panthers got very impatient, while Moore eventually lost the season due to injury. This is the man who started 12 games for the 2011 Dolphins, played pretty well, and hasn’t been heard from since.
That’s because, the following year, Miami (rightfully) drafted Ryan Tannehill to be their quarterback of the future, relegating Moore to a backup role for the past three years. In that time, it’s been easy to forget the fact that Moore was pretty good when he was given a chance to show his stuff in Miami.
He threw for 2,497 yards in 12 starts, with a a 60.5% completion rate, and 16 touchdowns to go along with 9 interceptions. The picks are a little high, but those numbers are similar to game manager extraordinaire, Alex Smith.
Moore should be the top target for teams like the Jets, Bills, Texans, and anyone else who wants a quick fix at the quarterback position, but aren’t necessarily worried about having this guy be the long term answer. He’s only had one extended run as a starter, and did well with it.
Since then, he’s been a forgotten man, sitting on Miami’s bench to give them an awesome safety net. Now that he’s a free agent, teams without a clear cut solution in place can bring him in. Even if he flops, at least he was given the opportunity to show his stuff, after losing his opportunity through no fault of his own.
Through a quick count, I think he would have been an upgrade for thirteen teams last season. I know it’s been a while since he’s played legitimate regular season action, but I liked what I saw when he was in there, as has looked good each preseason. He hasn’t been given much of a fair shake to this point, and the Jets are just the team to give him that opportunity.
As for how realistic this is, he had a cap hit of $5.5 million this past season, because his two-year deal was backloaded. Overall, he made $8 million over the life of the contract, putting him at the same $4 million per year that Michael Vick was just given. Moore will demand a lot more money than the other free agents because he’s only 30 but he’s worth it.
There you have it Jets fans. Worried that Winston and Mariota will be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock? Have no fear, Matt Moore, the ultimate bridge quarterback is here to save the day. Super Bridge to the rescue!