Early in the first quarter of his New York Jets regular season debut, Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury. He immediately went to the blue tent and was eventually carted to the locker room. It was then reported on Tuesday, September 12, that Rodgers tore his Achilles and will miss the remainder of the NFL season.
An MRI confirmed today that Aaron Rodgers officially tore his Achilles on the fourth play of his Jets’ career.
Rodgers’ season now, officially, is over. There already are questions about whether his Hall-of-Fame career is, too.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2023
Without Rodgers, the Jets will need to add a quarterback, and it’s possible they look to the current available free agents to do so. Who might they look to sign, whether to start or back up Zach Wilson?
Top Free Agent QB Options for the Jets
It goes without saying that there’s a reason free agent QBs are…free agents. No matter who the Jets sign, he’s a far cry from Rodgers. With that said, they need someone. Here are some possible players for the Jets to call.
After flaming out in Philadelphia in 2020, Wentz got a second opportunity in Indianapolis in 2021. That experiment failed, but Wentz got a third chance in Washington last year. Wentz was unable to succeed there as well. He has not gotten a fourth opportunity…yet.
Wentz is a veteran. The Jets would be his fourth team in four years. But he still may give them a better chance than Wilson. Still just 31 years old, Wentz is probably the best of a bunch of less-than-ideal options.
Matt Ryan’s career in Atlanta ended after the 2021 season. The Colts signed him in 2022, hoping he could be their next Philip Rivers. Unfortunately, Ryan looked past his prime, ultimately getting benched for Sam Ehlinger.
At 38 years old, Ryan has little left. However, he still has his brain. He could manage the game and allow the Jets’ defense and other playmakers to do the heavy lifting.
Out of all the available options, one could argue Joe Flacco makes the most sense. He made starts for the team last year, and the offense was actually its most potent with him under center. Flacco believes he can still play. Perhaps he can convince the Jets to bring him back.
It’s unclear if Colt McCoy wants to continue playing football. But he spent the entire offseason in Cardinals training camp. He’s certainly game-ready.
McCoy is a veteran who can also manage the game. The Jets could certainly consider him as an option.
The general consensus is that Cam Newton wants to continue playing football. Unfortunately, he’s a former mobile QB who is over the age of 33.
The 2015 MVP hasn’t played in the NFL since 2021. It’s possible he might be willing to return as Wilson’s backup. But this signing isn’t particularly likely.
Brett Hundley made nine starts for the Packers back in 2017. Since then, he’s bounced around the league. He made the Cardinals roster in 2019, but didn’t last long. We last saw him this past Spring playing for the XFL’s Vegas Vipers.
Hundley looked competent in the XFL, which isn’t saying much. Either way, he’s an option for the Jets, albeit not a particularly appealing one.
Other Free Agent QBs You Might Hear Rumors About
This is a separate list because realistically, none of these guys are coming back. But you will probably hear their names floated around.
Every time there’s a team clearly in win-now mode that needs a QB, Tom Brady’s name comes up. After his 2022 unretirement stunt, there will always be those convinced Brady is not fully retired.
Brady returning to lead a team that has all the pieces to make a Super Bowl run except quarterback makes all the sense in the world. Unfortunately, for better or worse, Brady is retired, and many believe that he is truly done. This is made all the more complicated by his current engagement with the Raiders.
While Brady has technically agreed to become a minority owner of the Raiders, according to the most recent reports, the NFL has yet to formally approve his ownership stake.
This means that because his ownership is not technically official as of yet, it’s unclear whether Brady could renege on his deal with Las Vegas if he wanted to return to the NFL as a player. If he were able to get out of his deal, he would be a free agent and could sign with the Jets tomorrow.
If the deal had gone through, the league’s new “no-equity” rule — approved by the NFL’s owners this summer — prohibits teams from giving players or team employees ownership stakes. This means, that if Brady’s pact with the Raiders is finalized, he won’t be allowed to play for any team, including Las Vegas.
Two things can both be true. Colin Kaepernick could have been blackballed by the NFL, and he also can be almost 36 years old, having not played football in seven years, and no longer good enough to play in the NFL.
According to Jordan Schultz, Kaepernick’s agent reached out to the Jets. Is a soon-to-be 36-year-old Kaep better than some of the third-stringers in the NFL? Probably. Are the Jets about to sign him to be Wilson’s backup? Probably not.