Deciphering the NY Jets’ thinking behind the Joe Flacco trade

Following a Defcon-5 level debacle in New England, headlined by starting quarterback Zach Wilson being sidelined indefinitely, the Jets surprised everyone by trading for Eagles backup Joe Flacco.

New York sent Philadelphia a conditional sixth-round pick that can become a fifth if Flacco plays more than 50% of the offensive snaps in four games.

Flacco will return for his second stint in Florham Park after serving as Sam Darnold’s backup the year prior. Despite the trade’s seemingly desperate timing, Flacco won’t join the team in time to start against the Bengals. Rather, Mike White will make his first career start, with Flacco likely serving as his backup.

The play-time incentives hint that Flacco won’t be on the bench for long, and could supplant White the following week.

Head coach Robert Saleh revealed after the trade was announced that the Jets wanted to re-sign Flacco, but Flacco chose to sign with Philly instead. Knowing Flacco was in their plans in the past eases concerns that this was a panic-move, but raises concerns in other areas.

The Jets clearly valued having a veteran presence to back up Wilson, but after Flacco was out of the picture, they never pivoted to find another answer. They stubbornly chose to stick with White as the backup, and adding Flacco now is an admission of their mistake.

Whether Flacco plays enough snaps to hit the incentive or not, the Jets are sending the Eagles a draft pick to solve a problem they could’ve fixed months ago.

Following the Bengals game, Flacco will likely serve as the spot starter until Wilson is healthy, before taking over for White as Wilson’s backup. Once he’s back on the bench, Flacco will take over the veteran mentor role New York had envisioned for him in the spring.

The Oklahoma Drill Podcast crew is back to break down the Flacco situation and every other pressing topic following the Jets’ implosion against the Patriots. Listen to the full episode for more on how Flacco can help Wilson, the desperate need to upgrade at right guard, and more.

Audio Version available to members only. Learn more here.

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Andrew Golden is a film analyst for Jets X-Factor with a focus on the NFL Draft, prospect evaluations and breaking down scheme fits. He also co-hosts the Oklahoma Drill Podcast with Vitor Paiva and Matt Mauro. Email: agoldenjets@gmail.com

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Jets71
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Jets71

It also clearly indicates Zach is more likely out for 4-6 weeks and not the optimistic 2-4. I think Flacco will do more for the offense than he will for Zach. I’ve never been a big fan the the “learn from” QB theory. None of the guys that played behind Brady turned out any good, with the exception of Jimmy and he’s not exactly the next Joe Montana in SF. But, the offense as a whole can use an experienced QB to stabilize things, help with protections and spread the ball around a little to get everyone else going a… Read more »

JetOrange
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JetOrange

The late sixth is so much better than giving up a mid fifth. 4 QB’s on the roster, not sustainable. Sounds cheap but Philly absorbs the 2.5 million bonus in this deal. Hoping for Flacco in 2022.