Jets hires have ties to Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill: Will they land a much-needed QB upgrade?
The New York Jets need a quarterback.
New Jets hired coaches have a history with some of the biggest names associated with the quarterback market. Will they be able to help them rise to the most important position in football?
The Jets reportedly hired former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing as their passing game coordinator on Monday. Downing will work under newly hired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who joined the team after an unsuccessful tenure as Denver Broncos head coach. Together, Downing and Hackett have relationships with Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill.
Downing is familiar with Tannehill after spending four seasons on Mike Vrabel’s staff for the Titans, the last two seasons as offensive coordinator. He was fired in January after Tennessee missed the playoffs. Downing also spent three seasons with the Oakland Raiders from 2015 to 2017, working with Carr as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
Before his only season in Denver, Hackett coached Rodgers for three seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator. Perhaps not by accident The planes are reported to have contacted The Packers on Rodgers’ availability, one of the biggest unknowns in the NFL offseason.
Win-now Jets are in desperate need of an update instead of Zach Wilson
What is known is that The Jets Are Buyers in the Quarterback Market after a disastrous second season picked in the first round of 2021 by Zach Wilson which had a bad game with bad lead. The Jets have an otherwise talented young roster that boasts a top five defensive players, as well as NFL offensive and defensive rookies of the year, Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner. They were on their way to the playoffs before ending the season on a six-loss streak, and it looked like the quarterback hadn’t had enough of a legitimate fight.
Will Jets Rogers, Carr or Tannehill land?
Any of the above quarterbacks would have been welcome in New York. Rogers reportedly the main goal for obvious reasons. He may be showing signs of decline at 39, but he’s only a season away from his second straight and fourth career MVP. He also comes up with a lot of question marks, most notably whether he will ever play NFL football again.
Rodgers said last week he was going into “solitude in the dark” to consider his future in the NFL. If he returns to the world as a football player, the questions will not end there. Rodgers is under contract with the Packers and neither side has made a commitment next season in case Rodgers continues to play. If one or both sides initiate a break, any move from Green Bay will require the approval of the Packers, who will presumably demand a large sum in exchange for their quarterback. Then comes work on the remainder of his $150 million contract extension under the salary cap.
The Jets have a long, winding road ahead of them to get Rodgers. But they seem willing to go for it given the advantage. Meanwhile, Carr proposes a path of much less resistance. The days of the three-time professional bowler in Las Vegas are clearly numbered. As of Sunday, his exit strategy looks clear.
Carr on the Path to Free Will
Carr, like Rodgers, has a contract for next season. But the Raiders have made it clear that they do not intend to honor a deal that is not guaranteed. On Sunday, Carr reportedly told the Raiders that he intended to enact a no-trade clause. The Raiders, in turn, intend to release him on Tuesday ahead of the deadline to guarantee his contract, according to the NFL Network.
The Jets now just have to get Carr to join the team with a contract offer to fit the attractive football circumstances. Easier said than done, of course, and will be other applicants for Carr’s services. But New York’s path to Carr is clearer than that to Rogers.
If the Jets don’t drop Rodgers or Carr, Tannehill could show up as a fallback. Tannehill still has a contract in Tennessee. But the Titans’ future is changing as the offensive core ages after a season that ended on a seven-game losing streak. New general manager Ran Carton will be in charge of whether the Titans blow something up or take it back, with Tannehill and Derrick Henry spearheading the assault. Carton refused to enter into a relationship with Tannehill. at their opening press conference in January. If they go any further, the Titans may be looking for a trading partner to free our 10-year veteran.
The Jets will have options and opportunities this offseason as they look to capitalize on their talented roster and end a 12-season playoff drought. Signing Hackett and Downing gives them an edge in their quest. Keeping Rodgers safe would mean a coup and make them one of the contenders for next season. Lack of quarterback training would be tantamount to disaster. The pressure is on.