Jets HC Robert Saleh Defends Joe Flacco Trade as 'No Risk' as QB Placed on COVID List

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVNovember 24, 2021

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

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.