It’s pretty safe to say that Zach Wilson will be the starting quarterback for the Jets in 2022 and that Robert Saleh has all the confidence in the world in his young QB. It’s also safe to say that there is at least a decent chance that Zach Wilson could go down with an injury again in 2022.
With the reality of modern football on the bodies and overall health of NFL QB’s, the Jets need to start looking for a reliable, steady backup QB-now. There are a lot of available signal callers in the free agency market right now and the Jets need to act now, but wait, if you act in the next ten minutes you could get an additional bonus by signing a quality journeyman quarterback to help on and off the field. Josn Johnson, Joe Flacco and Mike White all had their days leading the Jets in 2021; Johnson finished up in Baltimore while Flacco and White are both free agents and almost certainly won’t be putting on a Jets uniform this year.
My first choice for a backup QB is Andy Dalton. Yes, he had a stop in Chicago this past season and Dalton is probably a couple of years away from his prime QB days but he can still make things happen. When Justin Fields went down in 2021, Dalton stepped in for six games and threw for 1,515 yards and nine TD’s (but 9 INT’s.) Dalton brings experience and talent to the QB room and could help mentor Zach Wilson through the tough days of the NFL season, but it remains to be seen if Dalton will be signed by the Jets or another team along the way.
Another veteran QB available is Tyrod Taylor. Taylor also is a veteran from Buffalo and Houston and was leading the Texans until a hamstring injury sidelined him in 2021. Along the way, Taylor lost the starting job to Davis Mills and will no doubt be looking for a new team to sign on with to get a fresh start in 2022. If the Jets are looking for seasoned veterans, Colt McCoy may be the answer to their backup QB needs. McCoy had suited up for five teams in his NFL career and has had plenty of experience in the backup role. McCoy spent last year backup up Kyler Murray in Arizona and went 2-1 during the season when Murray went down with an injury. McCoy’s experience factor and his longevity may well be a blessing in disguise as he may be better suited to a mentorship role with a team like the Jets in a player-coach type of position. McCoy can certainly step in and play but his value may be more suited to the quarteracks room.
Regardless of which player or players the Jets sign as a backup QB, Robert Saleh & Co. need to realize that the backup role may be one of the most crucial signings of the off-season. How many NFL teams lose their starting QB’s at one point or another during the regular season? Who do you have to step in at a moment’s notice can literally help or destroy a regular season.