Biggest questions surrounding Jets’ quarterback quandary

Who will be the Jets quarterback in 2023?

That’s the question on every Jets fan’s mind right now and I’m here to tell you … I don’t know. This can go a number of different ways. I know the Jets are open to all options and this is a departure from years past. The Jets are ready to take their shot with big-name quarterbacks if they get the chance.

While I don’t have the answer to the big question, here are some other quarterback questions I can answer while we wait for the Jets to figure things out:

When will we know if Aaron Rodgers is being traded?

Pretty much whenever Rogers decides whether or not he’s what he wants. Rogers really holds the cards on this one. The Packers appear ready to move on but aren’t quite ready to push Rodgers out. So, it feels like it’s really up to Rodgers.

As in other cases, there is no financial deadline. Theoretically, Rodgers could stretch it until the preseason. But the Packers and any team trading for him will need an answer soon. I would say that the beginning of March is a difficult time. Teams will be preparing for free agency, which begins on March 15. The Packers will need to figure out if they have the $60 million in cash in Rodgers before starting free agency. A trade team would need to figure out if they are spending $60 million on Rodgers now.

Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Pete McAfee Show” that he would make a decision in a few weeks. It seemed like he didn’t want his decision to be made before the Super Bowl. Thus, two and a half weeks will remain in February. Things aren’t usually quiet with Rodgers, so he’ll likely either announce his decision or it will come out that he’s eligible for a trade. Then, the fun really begins.

Aaron Rogers
Aaron Rogers
Getty Images

What are the biggest hurdles in trading Rodgers to the Jets?

The biggest challenge is whether Rodgers will want the Jets. It’s clear the Jets will make a run at Rodgers if he becomes available. Rodgers has a no-trade clause, but no team will trade for him without his approval.

There are plenty of quarterback-needy teams to compete with the Jets. It’s been reported and logically understandable that the Packers don’t want to trade him to an NFC team. That would leave the Jets’ main competition for Rodgers as the Raiders, who have Deontay Adams, an old friend of the Titans and Colts at receiver. Hiring Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator could be beneficial for the Jets because of their close relationship.

If Rodgers chooses the Jets, draft compensation becomes the next hurdle and the Jets will want Rodgers to restructure his contract to reduce the cash charge this year.

Who will be the first quarterback off the board?

Derek Carr is the first name to watch. The important date is February 15. His 2023 base salary of $32.9 million and $7.5 million of his 2024 base salary became guaranteed on the same day. The Raiders are trying to trade him but if they can’t get a deal done before then, they will cut him.

Teams expect the car to be cut and then signed immediately in February. He will not have to wait until March 15 as players whose contracts expire do.

This is where the timing of all this gets interesting. Does a team interested in Rodgers wait or jump on the car early if they like him? It’s going to be a game of chicken for some teams.

When will the market really heat up?

The combine begins on February 27. This is when the offseason machine really hums. Sure there were early talks with teams and agents in one place this week at the Senior Bowl, but most teams are still in the early stages of their offseason planning. By the combine, teams will have clear targets and early deals can be made.

Ryan Tenneyhill
Ryan Tenneyhill

Is a quarterback not being talked about enough?

League sources expect the Titans to cut Ryan Tannehill, who currently counts $36.6 million for Tennessee. He could be an option for the Jets if they don’t land Rodgers. He will be 35 this season but has shown that he can thrive on a team with a good rushing attack and good defense, which the Formula Jets want to build. Tanhill might not be a sexy name to fans, but he’s highly regarded by coaches and front office types.

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