The New York Jets have certainly been busy this offseason and most of their attention has been focused on the spot under center. Their search for a quarterback to replace Zach Wilson (at least for the time being) had been shifting back and forth between Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers. But, with the former now signed with New Orleans, it’s become almost like “Rodgers or Bust” for the Guys in Green.
Ever since Carr took the bucks in the Bayou this week, NFL fans have been inundated with stories that the J-E-T-S are now ready to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Green Bay. In the process, they’ve set themselves up for a massive and embarrassing failure if it doesn’t come to pass.
However, there just might be a cheaper, less expensive, and even BETTER choice for New York than the Packers passer: Jimmy Garoppolo.
The former 49ers starter was made expendable in the Bay Area with the drafting of Trey Lance in 2021 and the emergence of ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ Brock Purdy in 2022. He’s out there as a free agent right now and is still just 31 years old. And he could be had for a much more franchise-friendly deal, right away, with no trade compensation involved.
Here are three big reasons why Jimmy G would look awfully good in green in 2023…
Jimmy Garoppolo, Not Aaron Rodgers, Should Quarterback the New York Jets
#1 – We still haven’t truly seen what he can do
Garappolo has played both a little and a lot in his NFL career. That may sound strange, but not when you examine his tenure closer. It’s not really comprised of his years in the league, but his number of games on the field.
In three seasons in New England, he started a total of two games, going 2-0. He would be dealt the following year to the 49ers. One year later, he started all 16 games in The Bay and posted 3.978 years, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, in what was his breakout sixth NFL season. He posted a QB Rating of 102.0, leading the team to a 13-3 record. They would lose Super Bowl LIV to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-20.
Due to some nagging injuries and being benched in favor of others, Garoppolo has only played 32 games over the last three seasons. So he’s still low mileage, even at 31. He’s only appeared in 74 games in nine NFL seasons
There’s also the perception that he’s not truly an ‘NFL-caliber’ starter, which has kept him off the field at times. Coming from Eastern Illinois and being viewed as mostly a ‘project player,’ Garoppolo was overlooked for a long time until he finally got to play his heart out in San Francisco. It would be interesting to see what would happen if he crossed coasts and tried to pul an encore in The Big Apple.
#2 – A deal with Jimmy Garappolo would save the New York Jets a ton in terms of compensation and cap space over Aaron Rodgers
Any deal with Rodgers will involve a lot of picks, probably some players, and cash to the Green Bay Packers in order to acquire the future Hall of Famer. The cap hit will be massive, so the team better be able to win with Aaron Rodgers, because it’s doubtful they will be able to add a ton of help around him.
On the other hand, Garappolo would come at a bargain basement price. Derek Carr just signed a deal that averaged over $30 million per season, and Jimmy would come cheaper than that, and with less money.
The team would have to give up nothing in terms of their assets, as the 49ers cut ties with the quarterback earlier this month. So, the New York Jets could conceivably lock up a legitimate starter and accentuate the offense elsewhere.
All at the same time, just with no Rodgers in the mix. And with a lot fewer headaches, too.
And if things do happen to go south with Jimmy Garoppolo, they still have young Zach Wilson waiting in the wings. A one or two-year experiment with the former ‘Niners quarterback might be a win-win for both players. And, more importantly, a huge lift for the Jets.
#3 – In terms of quarterbacking talent, there’s a drop-off after him in the market right now
As it stands, the next best option after Rodgers and Garoppolo would be someone in the neighborhood of Carson Wentz (released recently by the Washington Commanders) or potentially Baker Mayfield. Or, possibly even trying to move up and draft a marquee signal-caller. But that’s a project that could take years to work…if it even works out at all.
The New York Jets are a team that believes that they can win now. It’s one of the reasons they are willing to push their former second-overall pick, Wilson, out of the picture for a while. The kid might take the keys to the car eventually, but they want a veteran driver for the foreseeable future.
That’s why Jimmy Garoppolo is a perfect fit for NYC. He’s got experience and has been surrounded by greatness in his presence. And while he’s never captained a team on a Super Bowl run yet, Tinsel Town just might be the place he could make it happen.
Start spreading the news… Jimmy Garoppolo should be coming to New York. Today.
Main Image: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY