Once again, the New York Jets are struggling on offense, resembling the team that Jets fans saw last year — unable to move the chains and unable to score. In the Jets’ last three losses, the Jets have scored a combined 26 points; the Jets have a quarterback that keeps taking steps backwards, one who hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 7. Even if it’s not completely his fault, Geno Smith has shown enough to know that he can’t be the Jets’ franchise quarterback.
So what can the team do?
The 2014 NFL Draft is filled with a lot of talented quarterbacks, so why not draft one in the first round? They don’t have to start the quarterback immediately, they can keep him on the bench learning behind a veteran quarterback. Which quarterback? None that are on the roster now, obviously. But that’s what free agency is for.
One quarterback that will hit the free agency market, and may not be picked up by his current team, is Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, and the Jets should take a look at him.
Yes, his current team’s fans have a love/hate relationship with him. Yes, he’s a tough pill to swallow, but he’s a team leader. Throughout his career as the Bears’ franchise quarterback, even with some awful games, he has still managed to lead the Bears to some success, and the fans can’t complain about that — he probably could have done more with a better offensive line and more weapons.
Cutler, who has spent an inordinate amount of time running for his life in the backfield (due to an offensive line that couldn’t block), has been dealing with some injuries due to him getting hit constantly, but he is still a talented quarterback that may be the answer to the Jets’ offensive problems.
Let’s think about it:
In the eight games he’s played this season, Cutler has thrown for 1,908 yards, 13 touchdowns and is completing 63 percent of his passes. Cutler has been known to be a bit of a gunslinger throughout his career, but that’s exactly what the Jets need to spark their inept offense. In Cutler’s eight seasons in the NFL, he has thrown for 23,224 yards, completing 61 percent of his passes, and has thrown 149 touchdowns.
Yes, he has thrown picks. But something has been different this season: he has been keeping his cool and staying tough. In the past, when Cutler would turn the ball over, the quarterback would quickly unravel. This time, he goes out and executes. This season, Cutler has an 88.4 passer-rating, with a fourth quarter passer-rating of 108.1
Cutler can be a short-term solution to the Jets’ problems. And if the Jets do draft a quarterback in the 2014 draft, he can learn from a veteran that has had some success in the league.