The Jets don't seem to be in any hurry to figure out their starting quarterback for 2017 and they are "considering all options," according to a source. At the moment there are many. None of them are great.
But Jay Cutler does appear to be up near the top of their list.
That doesn't mean he will be their guy, but multiple sources have confirmed the Jets' interest in Cutler, as SNY previously reported, and that they may soon bring him in for a free-agent visit. But with their top choices -- Mike Glennon, Tyrod Taylor, Brian Hoyer -- unavailable, the Jets are investigating everyone. And every day a new name seems to join the list.
On Monday, Chase Daniel joined the fray after the Philadelphia Eagles traded for veteran Nick Foles, which reportedly prompted Daniel to ask for his release. It's expected that release will be granted, according to reports, which would put the 30-year-old career backup on the market.
And another name could join the fray too if the Broncos end up the winners of the Tony Romo chase. If they are able to trade for the soon-to-be-ex-Cowboy, or if he's released and they sign him, they are expected to make Trever Siemian available. And a team source said the Jets would at least be interested in how much it would cost to acquire him, too.
There are other options, too. None of them great. Here's an updated look at what they are:
The "best" options
Jay Cutler - He's the only one available the Jets are known to be interested in, but their slow pace in pursuing him means they're either lukewarm on the idea or he is. Maybe both. NFL sources still believe that the two sides will at least go as far as a free-agent visit. Cutler probably won't find another place where he can walk into a starting job, and he would have the familiarity of his old quarterbacks coach, Jeremy Bates, now holding that job with the Jets. A short-term marriage makes some sense, even if it's not ideal for either side.
Brock Osweiler - The Cleveland Browns acquired him from the Houston Texans and now they are looking to unload him and what's left of his $72 million contract, according to multiple league sources. There's no chance they'll find a team willing to trade for him and then pay him $8 million this season -- especially since the Browns are reportedly looking for a 3rd and a 5th-round pick in return. Once he's free, though, the Jets could be interested. The 26-year-old doesn't come with rave reviews -- on field or off -- from his time in Houston, but Broncos GM John Elway once thought he was the heir-apparent to Peyton Manning, so he might be worth a short-term, inexpensive contract.
Trevor Siemian - He's not available and he might not be, but if the Broncos end up with Tony Romo then they will surely listen to offers. Sieman wasn't bad last season in 14 starts for the Broncos, completing 59.5 percent of his passes for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He's also only 25.
Geno Smith - This remains an option of last resort for the Jets, who won't rule it out, but want to look at pretty much everyone else first. Smith, according to a source familiar with his thinking, isn't all that interested in a return anyway, but he's finding out there aren't a lot of places craving his services. Yes, he visited the Giants to talk about being their backup, but if he's considering joining a team with a starter who hasn't missed a game in 13 seasons, what does that tell you about his other options?
Chase Daniel - When he's cut by the Eagles he might get a call from the Jets, who expressed some interest in him last offseason while they were waiting on Ryan Fitzpatrick, and before Daniel signed a three-year, $21 million deal with Philly. The 30-year-old has some fans in the NFL scouting community, but he's also started only two games in eight NFL seasons. He'd be what Brian Hoyer would've been -- a stopgap until a young quarterback is ready.
Josh McCown - The Jets have been in contact with this 37-year-old journeyman backup, but there have been no substantial talks - just an expression of interest. He's had terrific seasons. In 2013 he made five starts and had 13 touchdowns and one interception with the Bears and in 2015 he started eight games for the Browns, throwing for 2,109 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. In between, there was his bad 2014 season with the Bucs (11 starts, 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions). He is what he is, which is a potentially solid stop-gap quarterback who would be keeping the seat warm - temporarily - for his eventual replacement.
Robert Griffin III - The Jets had him in for a visit twice last season, which has led to speculation they'll be interested again now that he's been released by the Browns. But they also passed on him last offseason, so maybe not. He wasn't very good in five starts last season and though he's only 27, he hasn't been the same since his early years in Washington. Not many people around the league seem to think he has a future as an NFL starter anymore.
A.J. McCarron - One of the hottest rumors on the internet is that the Jets and Bengals are interested in a Sheldon Richardson-for-McCarron swap. There's no confirmation of that. It sure is interesting, though. The Bengals have said they're open to listening to offers and the Jets are shopping Richardson. I think the Jets would prefer to use Richardson as bait to stockpile picks, but you never know.
Colin Kaepernick - There appears to be virtually no interest in this 29-year-old quarterback who once took his team to a Super Bowl and wasn't awful last season. That includes no interest from the Jets, who could do worse than at least take a look and bring him in for a visit.
Tony Romo - All signs continue to point towards the ex-Cowboy eventually playing in Houston or Denver. Probably Houston. There's no reason to think the Jets are interested at all.
The status quo
Christian Hackenberg/Bryce Petty - There are a few people around the NFL who believe that Hackenberg will end up as the Jets' starter this season. That's probably just speculation after an evaluation of the quarterback landscape, but Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has been pretty adamant about Hackenberg and Petty competing for the starting job next season. Maybe he actually means it?