The Jets have a surplus of cap space with the ability to target practically anyone in free agency, but will players want to sign with New York this offseason if they don't know who will be playing quarterback when the regular season begins?
Speaking to the media this week, Jets general manager Joe Douglas reiterated that the organization is going to be patient when it comes to solving their quarterback conundrum.
Rather than hastily making a decision, New York will continue to evaluate the top prospects in this year's NFL draft class while figuring out whether or not they should stick with Sam Darnold.
Put yourself in the shoes of a free agent, especially one who plays on the offensive side of the ball.
Surely the Jets will catch your attention. The organization has made noise this offseason, bringing in new head coach Robert Saleh and a tremendous staff, they have money to spend and draft picks to spare.
That said, a wide receiver wouldn't know who they're going to catch passes from. An offensive lineman wouldn't know who they're blocking for. If their services are in high demand, there will be other franchise's offering contracts that already have franchise quarterbacks in place.
That's not to say Darnold or a prospect like Zach Wilson isn't the answer for Gang Green. It's the principle that these players wouldn't know who they're going to play with yet as they negotiate.
Asked if he believes the lack of urgency in making a decision on Darnold's future will hurt this team in pursuit of top free agents, Douglas said he thinks New York is "well positioned" to land whoever they desire.
"This isn’t going to hurt us in terms of free agents," he said on Wednesday. "Like I said, I feel like our evaluations, especially with the coaching staff, have been the main thing we’ve been focusing on. For the remainder of this week, we’re going to be on the phone with our current players that are hitting free agency. I really don’t think that’s going to affect our free agent plans."
Anything can happen over the next few weeks, but this will certainly be a conversation Douglas and his team will need to have with prospective signees. Douglas may not think it will be a hindrance, but it's very possible a player will want confirmation before they sign on the dotted line, something the Jets will be unable to provide at this point in time.
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