By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Handicap the Jets’ veteran backup quarterback field, and the favorite is Nick Foles. (Note to Jets’ GM Joe Douglas – The options are running thin.)
The current 32-year-old Chicago Bear would seem like a perfect backup to rookie Zach Wilson. Foles appears to be an upcoming camp casualty with the Bears having top draft pick Justin Fields, and veteran Andy Dalton in the fold.
Foles would be a perfect fit with rookie Zach Wilson. His days of being a starter are behind him, and Foles can flourish in a relief role. He still would have the capacity to manage a four- to eight-game season if the situation dictated it.
Yes, the Foles-to-the Jets scenario has been played heavily since the spring, but it’s time to make it a reality.
Early signs pointed to new head coach Robert Saleh relying on his San Francisco connections to bring aboard Nick Mullens as a backup. Mullens did an adequate job filling in for Jimmy Garoppolo. But Mullens inked a mid-June deal with Philadelphia to play caddy to second-year starter Jalen Hurts.
Mullens was once part of a veteran attractive lot of Blake Bortles, Jacoby Brissett, Blaine Gabbert, Mike Glennon (who Giants grabbed) and A.J. McCarron. All quickly went off the board. Heck, even Geno Smith is back with the Seahawks.
You can spin the wheel with 35-year-old journeyman Josh Johnson, or 27-year-old Ryan Finley, who had some flashes with Houston. Or bring back 42-year-old Josh McCown?
The Jets did speak with Brian Hoyer early in the spring, but he generously got an offer to sign back with the Patriots.
Douglas does have 2018 fourth-round Mike White and 2020 fifth-rounder James Morgan, neither of whom have played a snap. The Jets are high on Morgan.
Either Douglas is playing it coy with the Foles situation that continues to gain ground, or he honestly believes in his young understudies.
However, does Douglas want to enter this season with three quarterbacks, all of whom are without an NFL snap? Think about that.
Foles is the best of the rest that’s out there. Jameis Winston is still around as well as Robert Griffin and Matt Barkley. Those are three of the better known ones. You can’t gain a vote of confidence with Winston, Griffin, or Barkley to sit behind your next franchise quarterback as well as ready to keep your team in games.
To complicate matter, Dallas and Tennessee reportedly will make a big push for Foles in the coming weeks.
So how does it happen for the Jets? The Bears likely will look to trade Foles, and the Jets have three sixth-round picks in 2022 among their 11 overall picks.
Foles will have a $6.6 million cap hit and a $14.3 dead cap, and the Jets could afford to take on $5 million of it. Get a fourth or fifth-pick back in return and the Bears absorb the remaining $1-plus million. Foles had a base salary of $1 million next year, and that’s a good fit.
It will be an interesting time when cam open July 27 to see if the Jets will pull the trigger. Douglas may wait it out to see if the Bears cut their ties with Foles or decide to eat more of his salary. But, if Dallas and Tennessee are still in the market, Douglas will need to act fast.
Let’s hope Douglas and the Jets brass decide to have some security behind the quarterback them and the fanbase supposedly has been waiting to arrive.