The Jets have spent years, even decades stuck in Quarterback Hell, in a never-ending search for an elusive franchise quarterback.
And Mike Maccagnan is serious about ending that run.
The Jets GM made the boldest move of his tenure on Saturday morning, making a stunning trade to move up even closer to the top of the 2018 NFL draft. He acquired the No. 3 overall pick from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 6 overall pick, the Jets' two second-rounders (37th and 49th) and a second-rounder in 2019.
That is a huge price to pay to move up three spots. But it's a price that will absolutely be worth it if the Jets' annual quarterback quandary is finally solved.
That puts big pressure on Maccagnan to pick the right quarterback, of course, but he clearly knew that he wouldn't have much of a choice if he stayed at No. 6. There are four quarterbacks in this draft that scouts and NFL personnel generally believe are franchise-type quarterbacks -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen, and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield. It's entirely possible that three, and maybe all four, will go in the Top 5.
Now the Jets are guaranteed one of them, assuming that's what they want. It's still possible that both the Cleveland Browns (at 1) and the Giants (at 2) will draft a quarterback, but that would still leave the Jets in a position to choose. And the fact that Maccagnan made this move so early - the draft isn't until April 26 - indicates he has several of them rated high and fairly close on his board.
The Jets, of course, had some hopes of fixing their quarterback issues in free agency. They made a big push for free agent Kirk Cousins, but as they always feared he ended up signing with the Minnesota Vikings. That left the Jets to pursue their "Plan B" - signing former Vikings starter Teddy Bridgewater, who is 25 but missed most of the last two seasons with a knee injury, and re-signing last year's Jets starter, 38-year-old Josh McCown.
But as SNY as reported, their Plan B always also included the possibility of adding a quarterback in the first round of the draft. That's why Maccagnan was at both the Oklahoma and UCLA Pro Days this week, to watch Mayfield and Rosen in person. It's a safe bet that he'll be at USC's Pro Day on Wednesday to watch Darnold and in Wyoming to see Allen on Friday, too.
There are other enticing options at the top of the draft, of course. Penn State's dynamic running back, Saquon Barkley, could be there at 3. And many scouts think Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is worthy of that pick.
But make no mistake: A move like this is almost certainly about a quarterback to hopefully lead the franchise for the next decade -- something the Jets have been searching for since the mid-1970s when Joe Namath left town.