New York Jets: Quarterbacks Jets Should Consider Targeting in the Offseason

Colby LanhamCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2012

New York Jets: Quarterbacks Jets Should Consider Targeting in the Offseason

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    When the Jets moved up to draft Mark Sanchez fifth overall in 2009, they were hoping that he would become the face of the franchise to take them to the next level. And for the first two years, he did enough to take them to the AFC Championship game. But his next two years, a combination of his penchant to throw interceptions, along with the lack of talent in the offense, now have many Jets fans calling for the end of Sanchez in New York.

    And after their 14-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football, a game where Sanchez threw four interceptions and had a very dismal 32.6 quarterback rating, the Jets may soon be cleaning house by not only getting rid of Sanchez, but head coach Rex Ryan, who insisted on starting the struggling Sanchez for most of the year, and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

    With the failed Tim Tebow experiment and his unlikely return, the Jets are in the market for the quarterback. But with a questionable quarterback draft class coming, the team may look to target quarterbacks already in the league, and use the draft to build around said quarterback.

    But just who are some possible targets for this struggling Jets team?

Matt Flynn

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    A former seventh-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2008, Flynn spent four years as the backup to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before departing in free agency to join the Seattle Seahawks on a three-year deal worth $19.5 million, with $10 million guaranteed. He is, however, on the bench thanks to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

    If the Jets want to take a chance on a more veteran quarterback, they could take a chance on acquiring Flynn in the offseason. With the way Wilson is playing for the Seahawks, Flynn could be trade bait at this point. It's not likely Seattle likes paying starter money to a backup quarterback, and may like to put that money towards Russell in the long term.

    The question will be how much Seattle will want for him, and how much the Jets are willing to give for his services.

Alex Smith

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    Heading into the season, San Francisco was rolling with Alex Smith as the starter after he signed a three-year deal in the offseason, with occasional surprises by Colin Kaepernick in certain packages.

    But after Smith missed time due to sustaining a concussion, it quickly became the Colin Kaepernick show, and head coach Jim Harbaugh has stuck with Kaepernick, who has had this team rolling since becoming the full-time starter. This could mean the 49ers may get some calls about acquiring Smith. The New York Jets should be one of those callers.

    The former No. 1 overall pick has had a tough time his first year in the league, never having a consistent offensive coordinator for sustained periods and being tabbed as a game manager. But thanks to Harbaugh, Smith revitalized his career, and shown that he can get the job done after leading the team to a 13-3 record in 2011.

    The 49ers have one of the better quarterback duos in the league, and Harbaugh may not be willing to part with that. But the Jets need to make all the calls they can.  

Kirk Cousins

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    This rookie has quickly made a name for himself as a capable backup to Robert Griffin III for the Washington Redskins. Cousins has shown the poise and capability of a starting quarterback. His potential is enough for a team to give him an opportunity in a starting role.

    Surprisingly drafted in the fourth round by the Redskins, who had already selected RG3 No. 2 overall, Cousins had as high as a second-round grade coming out of Michigan State, and was noted by scouts for his football IQ. He has good poise in the pocket, and has already engineered a fourth quarter comeback and win his first lone start when RG3 went down with injury on both occasions. 

    With the Redskins having given up a lot to move up to even select RG3, they would love to get draft picks for Cousins. The Redskins will be moving forward with RG3 as the face of their franchise, and Cousins could move on to greener pastures.

    And those greener pastures could come in a green Jets uniform.  

Rookie QBs

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    Should the Jets be unable to land any prominent backups, or just choose not to, they will be looking to the NFL draft to mold yet another young quarterback. But what's interesting about this class is that it is lower on immediate top first-round talent, but in this quarterback driven league, teams will undoubtedly reach for their quarterback.

    Sitting at 6-8, the Jets are likely to have a spot from anywhere between 9-13, and because of that, they may wait until their second-round pick to choose their quarterback or even move back into the end of the first round to get their guy.

    Some targets for the Jets could be guys like the Tennessee Volunteers' Tyler Bray, who's 6'6" frame and arm could make for a much improved passing attack; Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, who has both the mobility and the arm; NC State quarterback Mike Glennon, who is similar to Bray, but lacks the athleticism to move well outside the pocket.

    Quarterback is undoubtedly the Jets' biggest need in this coming offseason, along with becoming more explosive on offense.