For the first time in a long time, perhaps even in the history of the franchise, the New York Jets might just have an embarrassment of riches at the quarterback position. It is an ideal situation for a team that is looking to groom its future, franchise quarterback at his own pace.
This offseason, the Jets addressed their decade-long search for a solution at quarterback, moving up a month prior to the NFL Draft to obtain the No. 3 overall pick and then using it on USC quarterback Sam Darnold. They also re-signed Josh McCown, who helped orchestrate the Jets surprising 3-2 start to last year and showed himself to be solid a year ago before ending the season to injury.
There is also the addition of Teddy Bridgewater, the former first round pick who has impressed at Organized Team Activities (OTAs) to date.
That is plenty of talent for the Jets to get by this year with an eye towards 2019 and beyond.
It is Darnold, who is clearly the future of the franchise. As Darnold develops, so will the Jets chances to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The rookie saw some first-team snaps this week during OTAs, a promising sign in his learning curve.
“He has been progressing. Obviously installing the offense and putting in everything on defense, he is seeing things for the first time on both sides of the ball,” head coach Todd Bowles said. “As the days go by, he is getting more comfortable so we just have to keep working at it and getting better.”
Bridgewater, entering his fourth year in the league, missed nearly all of last season with a knee injury. He does however have 28 starts in his NFL career and a pretty good track record in the league. In 2016, he played in all 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings where he threw for over 3,200 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Not gaudy numbers but solid, certainly.
A healthy Bridgewater might be the best gap between the present and Darnold, allowing the rookie to sit and learn at the start of his NFL career.
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“I think from a chemistry standpoint with the three around each other, it is the most together from an experience standpoint and a young talent standpoint that we have been in the room,” Bowles said. “We think we have three good quarterbacks that we can play with and just look and see how much better they can get going forward.”