The New York Jets made waves this offseason when they traded for star quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. The Jets have Super Bowl aspirations with Rodgers under center, but that doesn’t mean the team’s backup quarterbacks won’t be called into action at some point this season.
We dive into the Jets’ quarterback depth chart and project who will back up Rodgers in 2023.
New York Jets QB Depth Chart
The Jets quickly pivoted from a team simply hoping to tread water at the quarterback position in 2022 as they started Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Mike White, and Chris Streveler throughout the season.
Injuries and poor play ravaged the unit. It was no surprise the Jets were involved in negotiations for Rodgers and Derek Carr this offseason.
Rodgers will clearly be the lead dog for as long as he’s in New York. A guaranteed first-ballot Hall of Famer, Rodgers is still dangerously efficient and careful with the football, boasting the second-best career passer rating of all-time despite ranking 15th in yards per attempt.
His career lows for a full season include completing 60.7% of attempts (2015) for 217.4 yards per game (2022), a 4.2% touchdown rate (2018), and a 2.4% interception rate (2008). The Jets will still see a boost on offense if Rodgers were to replicate career lows in each of those categories at the same time.
The franchise has only had one quarterback in their top-15 passers complete more than 59% of their attempts while in a Jets jersey, so the bar is incredibly low for Rodgers to be a good player in New York.
Behind Rodgers will be Wilson, Tim Boyle, and Streveler. With the NFL expanding the emergency quarterback availability to include a third passer, we’ll see more training camp battles for that final spot this year than usual.
Will Zach Wilson or Tim Boyle Back Up Rodgers?
After trading for Rodgers, the Jets could’ve thrown Wilson under the bus. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has been a massive bust, often looking completely lost while he’s been on the field. There’s a good chance he never receives a contract with significant guaranteed money after his rookie deal expires.
Still, Jets head coach Robert Saleh opted against sandbagging Wilson, saying, “Our focus is to help him get better as fast as he can.” Rodgers added that “part of my role here is to help get his confidence back.” The Jets are continuing to invest in Wilson, and that will lead to him earning the primary backup role in 2023.
Some of that is due to the salary obligations New York has with Wilson’s contract. Now entering his third year, Wilson carries a $9.5 million cap hit in 2023 and an $11 million hit in 2024. Moving him would incur a dead cap hit, so the Jets are basically stuck with Wilson until next offseason.
However, that doesn’t mean he has to be locked into the No. 2 quarterback job. Boyle was behind Rodgers and Jordan Love for two years in Green Bay before going to Detroit and Chicago in subsequent years. Rodgers previously lauded Boyle for being “a great human,” so it’s not a surprise the Jets brought the 28-year-old to help keep Rodgers comfortable.
Boyle has been worse than Wilson while on the field, though. While Wilson’s career completion rate of 55.2% and 15 touchdowns to 18 interceptions is awful, Boyle has been worse. Boyle has completed 62.3% of his attempts for three touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Jets are in major trouble if either has to play. Streveler doesn’t offer any more reason for believing the Jets can survive for any time at all if he has to play, as he has maybe the weakest arm the NFL has ever seen. He offers some rushing ability, which could make him more valuable than Boyle if either has to play.