Plenty of good vibrations emerged after free-agent quarterback Derek Carr met with the New York Jets last weekend, a visit that went “really well,” ESPN reported. The Jets made their case to Carr with some serious gravitas — pitching the idea that Carr could become a first-ballot Hall of Famer if he wins big in New York.
The Jets’ decision-makers believe a veteran quarterback is the team’s missing piece. In 2022, they started three quarterbacks, due to injuries and the disappointing performance of former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. Wilson completed just 54.5 percent of his passes and had more interceptions (7) than touchdown passes (6) in nine starts.
Still, the team played meaningful games late into the season before finishing with a 7-10 record. The Jets believe they could’ve been a playoff team with reliable quarterback play — something New York hopes Carr can provide in 2023.
Greg Jennings, an analyst for The 33rd Team, sees plenty of upside in a union between the Jets and the former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback.
“I think the New York Jets are a perfect spot,” Jennings said. “When you think about what they have already on their roster, it’s ready-made with the insertion of a (quality) quarterback. The Jets wouldn’t have to give anything up; they can just acquire Derek Carr for whatever that contract will look like.”
The Raiders released Carr last week after nine seasons as their starter hours before his contract became fully guaranteed for the next two seasons. The QB refused to waive his no-trade clause, and Las Vegas felt it was time to move on despite getting nothing in return.
Were Carr to join the Jets, he would take control of an offense that includes the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, and another 2021 pick, second-round running back Breece Hall, who gained 682 yards from scrimmage in seven games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
The Jets also possessed one of the league’s most talented and productive defenses in 2022. They finished fourth in yards allowed and points allowed per game, led by two first-team All-Pros — cornerback Sauce Gardner, the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
The Jets reportedly also have inquired about the availability of Aaron Rodgers in a trade from the Green Bay Packers. First, Rodgers will have to decide if he wants to continue playing, and if he wants to do it in Green Bay. Rodgers could make his decision after he emerges from his “darkness retreat.”
If the Jets can secure Carr or Rodgers as their new franchise quarterback and bolster an already-dangerous defense, they will put themselves in line to end the NFL’s longest playoff drought — 12 years.