EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 20: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 20, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The 49ers defeated the Jets 31-13.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New York Jets must do what they can to address their backup quarterback situation and replace the Philadelphia-bound Joe Flacco.

Even those who have done their utmost to social distance from New York football are likely aware that the green squad has a quarterback quandary on their hands.

We are, of course, referring to the relative panic surrounding the departure of Joe Flacco to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Flacco’s lasting impression in green will likely come in the form of people being shocked that the Super Bowl MVP wore a uniform other than Baltimore’s purple, joining a brotherhood that includes Michael Vick, Derrick Mason, and LaDainian Tomlinson. But the Jets, who haven’t had a passer start every game of a season since 2015 (Ryan Fitzpatrick) need to have a strong name behind either Sam Darnold (who has missed games in each of his three NFL seasons to date) or a youngster plucked from the rookie bunch.

Even as the Jets seek to restore hope to their desperate fanbase through a new franchise man, a strong backup can prove valuable. That’s a lesson that general manager Joe Douglas likely learned firsthand during his time in Philadelphia, when he watched Nick Foles guide the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in the game’s 52nd edition.

Which of the remaining options could the Jets target on the remaining passing market? Jet X investigates …

Josh McCown, Houston

Josh McCown‘s time as a Jets quarterback probably accounted for whatever can be remotely called glory days for the Jets have had over the past five seasons.

As a stopgap option in 2017, he led an inexperienced squad to five wins and five single-possession losses. He then served as a mentor to Darnold, who never hesitated to leave a positive review during their single year’s collaboration.

Set to turn 42 on Independence Day, McCown was released from a perfect situation in March: he was the Texans’ backup but was close to home and his family.

If the Jets can find a way to work with McCown and his desire to contribute through coaching high school ball, much like the Eagles in his stop prior to Houston, this could definitely be an avenue worth exploring.

Nick Mullens, San Francisco

The offensive addition of Tevin Coleman notwithstanding, the Jets have mostly stayed away from inviting Robert Saleh‘s fellow former bearers of the red and gold from the Bay Area. But Mullens, who’s carving an NFL path after going undrafted out of Southern Mississippi in 2018, has proven capable of stepping up in a pinch.

Sure, a 5-11 mark as a starter leaves something to be desired, but Mullens has posted a passer rating of over 100 in five of those starts and has multiple touchdown passes in seven.

Mullens would be a definite upgrade from the prior crop of New York understudies, as the Jets have mostly relied on either the older vets or the completely inexperienced (i.e. Luke Falk).

Alex Smith, Washington

For however long he has left in the National Football League, there might be no better mentor in professional sports than Alex Smith. Even before last season’s inspiring comeback from the devastating leg injury—one that helped guide the Washington Football Team to an unlikely playoff visit—Smith was a player who defined perseverance and overcoming great odds.

His NFL endeavors probably should’ve ended after his ugly early seasons were defined by inconsistency and endless coaching turnover. Instead, he developed a lengthy career as a starter in both San Francisco and Kansas City, losing the starting jobs through little, if any, fault of his own.

Whether it’s Sam Darnold or your non-Trevor Lawrence rookie of the choice, the franchise man can not only have a strong backup as a safety net but they can also have a great, resilient mind to work with as a mentor.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Jet X Offseason Tool 2023 4

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

Download Jet X Mobile on the App Store and Google Play.

Want More NY Jets News & Jets X-Factor Content?

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Google/Android (Google Play) device.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Follow us on Twitter @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Join the official Jets Discord community to connect with likeminded fans.

Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
verge tibbs
verge tibbs
2 years ago

I think mccown is totally washed up. I dont think he can be competent even for just one game anymore. Id love alex smith but he still wants to start. Its worth a shot but i dont know what kind of money hes gonna want either. So i guess Mullens would be the choice here. Cant lie, i dont know all too much about him aside from what you said here