There’s quite a gulf in expectations surrounding the tenants of MetLife Stadium come the 2017 season.
The New York Giants are looking to mount a serious challenge toward the NFC East title while the Jets look destined for another top-10 draft pick next spring.
Regardless, both teams have made some noise this week regarding the quarterback position that has raised plenty of eyebrows:
Could Geno Smith be Eli Manning’s successor?
This is indeed a serious question that is being asked in 2017.
After four tumultuous seasons with the Jets from 2013-2016, the Giants signed Smith last week as one of Manning’s backups.
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo took it a step further on Tuesday when he spoke with Jordan Raanan and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
When asked if Smith can be a “long-term replacement,” for Manning, McAdoo responded, “I don’t see why not.”
Granted, he did add that Smith needs plenty of time and preparation before that could be a legitimate thought.
Manning is preparing for his 14th NFL season, all with the Giants, and turned 36 in January. He has three years left on his contract, but an inconsistent 2016 did raise questions about how much he has left in the tank.
Smith has been a disappointment since the Jets took him in the second round during the 2013 draft. However, he was thrust into an environment that did not set him up to succeed.
In 30 career starts, Smith went 12-18 while throwing 36 interceptions compared to just 28 touchdowns.
The West Virginia product did show flashes of a solid dual-threat option under center given his mobility, but it remains to be seen how well he will be able to move after recovering from a torn ACL that ended his 2016 season in Week 7.
Smith is not expected to be ready for the beginning of offseason workouts, per Raanan and Reiss.
Jets QB competition will be wide open
With Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the picture, the Jets aren’t left with much at the quarterback position.
Already with two young, inexperienced arms in Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, the Jets surprised many when they signed 37-year-old Josh McCown.
Right now, there is no favorite for the job either as head coach Todd Bowles told ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini on Tuesday.
“There will be heavy competition for the job," Bowles said. "Nobody has been promised the starting quarterback job. They'll all get a chance to play and we'll make that decision, going forward, when training camp starts as we see production from certain people."
Drafted in 2015, Petty appeared in six games, compiling a 1-3 record as a starter while throwing three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Hackenberg was drafted a year later out of Penn State, but did not take the field in 2016. It seemed as though there was little confidence in him as a Jets source told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News in January that Hackenberg “will never make it.”
The tune has changed since then though, as Mehta speculated the Jets “want Hackenberg to win this competition.”
McCown will add a much-needed veteran presence to the team’s quarterback situation, but his track record is lackluster.
In 60 career starts, McCown has won just 18 games and was recently cut by the worst team in football, the Cleveland Browns.
Bowles and the Jets still have another option if they don’t feel comfortable with any of the three during the early portions of spring. Gang Green holds the No. 6 overall pick in the draft and would likely have a shot at Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky.