New York Jets Can Find Better Free Agent Quarterbacks Than Tarvaris Jackson
The most recent round of New York Jets quarterback rumors have come in, and the latest player the team has been linked to is former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (via Tim Kavanagh of ESPN).
The connection makes some sense given that the Seahawks are John Idzik's former team and that Jackson has played in somewhat similar offenses in the past. However, he is too turnover-prone to be an ideal fit for the Jets.
Jackson does have some factors going in his favor, especially when compared with a more high-profile acquisition like Michael Vick. For one, he is not a high-profile acquisition, and will therefore not generate the same media scrutiny nor cost the same amount of money.
Furthermore, Jackson has a moderately better completion rate than Vick, narrowly topping the 60 percent threshold in 2011 when he started the majority of games for the Seahawks. The Jets want to bring in a journeyman type to compete for the starting role in 2013.
Mobile quarterbacks are quickly becoming a trend in the NFL, and Jackson fits that bill as well, but his inability to avoid turnovers makes him a player the Jets should be wary of. He doesn't fumble the ball as much as a player like Vick, but his interception rates are pretty comparable.
To make one comparison to the available talent pool, Jackson's numbers are very similar to those of Matt Moore, with the one significant difference being touchdown-to-interception ratio. Moore may not be the best answer in New York, but the idea is that the "safe" veteran the Jets acquire will likely be a game manager, and game managers need to take care of the football to be successful.
The Jets should actually have a pretty good marketing pitch to available game managers, as they potentially have a starting job on a team with an above-average defense to offer. Even on a one-year deal, this will enable a veteran quarterback to get reps and likely post a decent record.
As a result, the Jets can exercise caution with veteran signings and choose the quarterback that best fits their style of play. Tarvaris Jackson may still have a few years left, and he has past connections with Jets management, but he is not the ideal fit in the New York offense and Gang Green can afford to pass on him.
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