The Jets' starting quarterback situation is one of the biggest and most interesting storylines in all of the NFL this offseason.
Considering we're constantly talking about Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson and possible draft picks here at Jets Country—and there's nothing wrong with that—it's about time we gave New York's backup quarterback some love.
All things considered, Joe Flacco was a solid backup for Darnold last season. He held himself accountable, provided some valuable experience in a locker room full of young players and while his numbers were nothing to write home about, he was serviceable between the lines.
Flacco's number was called when Darnold went down with a shoulder injury. Across five games (four starts), the former Super Bowl champion threw for 864 yards—172.8 per game—and had more touchdowns (six) than interceptions (three). Flacco had a better passer rating (80.6) and QBR (58.0) than Darnold (40.1, 72.7).
Even if the 36-year-old did his job in 2020, and played a role in some special moments, that doesn't mean there's a spot for him on this offense in 2021. With Mike LaFleur coming in and running the offense, odds are New York will seek to add a quarterback that's capable of working outside of the pocket.
To put it another way, here's The Athletic's Connor Hughes on why the Jets should dump Flacco this offseason.
Flacco showed last year he can be a good backup, and his experience makes him a solid mentor, too. But while the Jets need a veteran — whether it’s for Darnold or a rookie — Flacco isn’t a scheme fit for Mike LaFleur. This offense prioritizes mobility and throwing on the run. Flacco is a stationary pocket passer.
Whether Darnold returns for his fourth season in green and white or New York adds a player like Zach Wilson in the draft, that mentorship from a veteran at the position is going to be crucial. Who might fill Flacco's shoes remains to be seen, but the quarterback will likely be looking for another gig this offseason.
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