In today's Jets mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano weighs in on the quarterback situation, the possibility of tanking, and the Jets' potential pitch to Dont'a Hightower...
Is it worth the #Jets going after a Brock Osweiler or Chase Daniel if other teams are on the hook for their salaries? -- @MiniHulk5
If you mean that's because their prices will be lower, I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, Osweiler and Daniel are already making money this season from their old teams, so perhaps they'd be willing to take less from their new one. But really, how high is their value going to be anyway? Right now I only count four teams without a starting quarterback -- the Jets, Browns, Texans, and 49ers. The Texans are probably going to get Tony Romo and the other two are drafting 1-2 in April.
Plus, a bunch of other quarterbacks are still available like Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, and Josh McCown. It's not like Osweiler or Daniel are going to spark a bidding war.
I don't think financial reasons should drive this search anyway, except for the fact that you don't want to throw crazy money at an unproven quarterback (I'm looking at you, Chicago Bears). Assuming neither will get crazy money, I don't see the value in the Jets signing Daniel, a 30-year-old career backup with two starts in his eight NFL seasons. I see far more value in Osweiler, a 26-year-old who sure looked like he had a lot of promise a year ago.
I'd be careful. There are surely some good reasons why the Texans cut Osweiler. But I'd give him a look, and it wouldn't have anything to do with money.
Wouldn't Jets be better off tanking season and getting Sam Darnold to be good for future. Guy looks like Andrew Luck -- @IslesRealist
Sure, if only it were that easy. Assuming they could purposely lose enough without making it look completely obvious, and not screw it up and end up with the No. 2 pick instead, and assuming Darnold doesn't get hurt and continues to play like a Young Luck … Yeah, for a franchise that's spent forever looking for a franchise quarterback, that would be nice.
They won't, of course, because it's not easy and because players and coaches want to win, and perhaps most importantly because head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan need to show Woody Johnson that the arrow on the franchise is pointing up, not down. Otherwise someone else would be the GM and coach when Darnold arrives.
Also, if they tanked, it wouldn't help the development of their players at all. Yes, nothing is more important than the quarterback, but football relies on so many other players -- most of whom are in the league for such a short time -- that they can't waste a year like that. Otherwise, Darnold would be coming in to a major mess that could take even longer to rebuild.
So yeah, it's nice in theory. And honestly, if at midseason the Jets are out of contention and headed for another miserable season, I might be all for it. At that point, what would they have to lose? Or is it win? Whatever. But to go into the season planning to end up with next year's No. 1 pick would be a recipe for disaster.
After all, given the Jets' luck the last four decades or so, you just know they'd go 1-15 and someone else would still end up with the No. 1 pick.
After all the Jets' moves this offseason, what could the Jets' pitch to Hightower be!? (Besides the money) -- @meirspaeth
What, the birthday cupcakes weren't enough for you?
As George Young, the late Giants GM, often said: "It's always about the money." But in this case, money might not be enough. There are reports that Dont'a Hightower has been offered more by the Jets than anyone else, but he still won't rule out the Patriots. In fact, many people around the NFL believe he's just using the Jets to drive his price up and he always intended to go back to the Super Bowl champs.
But this mess underscores something I wrote about before free agency started -- that Maccagnan and Bowles will have to do a serious sales job for any free agent who has other options where the money is close. Think about it: Would you rather play for the defending champs who have been a perennial contender for more than a decade, or for the Jets, who last won a championship 48 years ago?
Easy, right? That's why Maccagnan and Bowles had to sell Hightower on the future, on their plan for quickly turning the Jets into contenders. Given the recent history and the current state of the roster, that won't be easy. Honestly, without a proven quarterback on the roster, it might be an impossible sell.
But that's what the pitch has to be. Besides the money and the cupcakes, they have to lay out their plan for a guy like Hightower and make him believe that very soon everything will be alright.