The New York Jets have had one of the most impressive offseasons of any NFL team so far, but there’s still one critical missing piece from the team: backup quarterback.
Gang Green hopefully found not only their starter for Week 1 in Zach Wilson out of BYU but also their franchise quarterback for the next decade during the 2021 NFL draft.
The Jets have to make it a priority pairing their rookie quarterback with a capable backup that can show him the ropes.
They’ve been linked to a slew of different quarterbacks this offseason from Brian Hoyer to Nick Mullens, but there’s another option that makes a ton of sense.
Chicago Bears Quarterback Nick Foles
The Chicago Bears recently tried to trade away Nick Foles, but “couldn’t find a taker”, per NFL insider Adam Caplan.
There are several reasons for that.
There are two years left on his deal worth over $16 million, per Peter King of NBC Sports. Regardless of what happens, the Bears are going to eat some significant dead cap, but they could wait and make him a post-June 1 designation to try and spread the hit over the next two years instead of swallowing it all now.
Crowded Quarterback Room
The Bears signed veteran Andy Dalton this offseason to a one-year deal worth $10 million. Then during the 2021 NFL draft, Chicago moved up to draft Ohio State’s Justin Fields with the No. 11 pick overall in the first round. Where does Foles fit into that mix?
That quarterback room is crowded and everyone knows it. With that in mind, why would any smart general manager trade any assets to the Bears to solve their surplus issue? Especially when they could probably wait for him to eventually be released.
The Waiting Game
Credit the Jets for being incredibly patient in their search for a viable backup quarterback. They’ve kicked the tires on a few players this offseason, but they haven’t jumped yet and they shouldn’t.
It seems inevitable that Foles is going to be released by the Bears. If/when that happens, the Jets should jump at the opportunity to add the former Super Bowl MVP to the room.
There’s an obvious connection to Jets general manager Joe Douglas from their time together in Philadelphia. Foles spent two seasons with the Eagles from 2017-2018 and won a championship while Douglas was there as a front office executive.
Adding Foles would add some competition in the room, but more importantly Gang Green would add “one of the best team guys” in the NFL.
He’s been on one of the craziest journeys in recent memory.
Foles was drafted by the Eagles originally in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, developed for a few years, then started getting passed around. He got traded to the (then) St. Louis Rams, jumped over to the Kansas City Chiefs, seriously pondered retirement when he lost his way, then jumped back on the Eagles for a magical playoff run that ended in immortality with a championship victory.
Shortly after that, the Eagles let him go in free agency and he signed a massive deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars (four years worth over $88 million). Things flamed out and he was traded to the Bears this past offseason.
The veteran passer has ridden the highest of highs (winning a championship as the Super Bowl MVP) and the lowest of lows (crippling injuries and pondering retirement when things weren’t going great). Who would be better to learn from than someone who has survived all of those trials and tribulations?
It’s also paramount for the Jets to add a capable quarterback to the room because they haven’t always made the position a priority.
For instance during Sam Darnold’s run as the quarterback for Gang Green, anytime he was out of commission the team was doomed and had no chance.
The Jets were 0-10 in games that Darnold didn’t start during his tenure with the green and white. They trotted guys like David Fales, Luke Falk, and Trevor Siemian out and that simply wasn’t good enough.
Over the last 3 seasons, the @nyjets played 10 games without Sam Darnold as their starting QB.
They went 0-10 in those games and the offense scored 11 touchdowns.@PaulHembo
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) March 5, 2021
Good things come to those who wait and the Jets would be best served to hold tight until Foles shakes free of the windy city. It would be a match made in football heaven.