New York Jets coach Robert Saleh defended the team's decision to trade a sixth-round pick for Joe Flacco, calling it a "no risk" deal.
“When someone offers a sixth-round pick for a player of Joe’s caliber, there is no risk,” Saleh told reporters.
The Jets sent a conditional sixth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles last month after Zach Wilson went down with a knee injury. The move seemed odd at the time, as the Jets were 1-5 with no hope of making the playoffs when Wilson went down. Mike White had done a fine enough job in relief, and journeyman Josh Johnson was on the roster as a potential backup.
Flacco, languishing third on the Eagles' depth chart, was seemingly content holding a clipboard in what appeared likely to be his final NFL stop.
The Jets instead gave the 36-year-old what may be his last NFL start in Week 11, with Flacco throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was a fine overall performance, but Flacco is not a quality NFL quarterback at this point in his career, and the risk of acquiring him became even more evident when he revealed he is not vaccinated for COVID-19.
The Jets saw their worst-case scenario play out this week with Flacco being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list with a close contact.
White has also been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving Johnson as the primary backup to a returning Wilson.