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USATSI

The New York Jets have several items on their offseason to-do list, and there's one goal they ignored last year that they absolutely should focus on this year: Finding a backup quarterback.

When Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles in Week 1, Robert Saleh elected to go with the quarterback they benched in 2022 in former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. He couldn't do enough to keep his job, as the Jets started four different quarterbacks while finishing with a 7-10 record. New York opted against signing a free agent with starting potential, like Joe Flacco, who signed with the Cleveland Browns and won NFL Comeback Player of the Year while the Browns made the playoffs -- something the Jets haven't done in more than a decade.

The Jets hope the 40-year-old Rodgers can remain healthy and lead New York to glory in 2024, but it's not a given -- especially with him coming off of a torn Achilles. Grabbing a backup quarterback who could spot start if needed is necessary for the Jets this offseason. Below, we will break down five options for New York to consider. 

5. Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor
NYJ • QB • #2
CMP%64.4
YDs1341
TD5
INT3
YD/Att7.45
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The veteran journeyman stepped in for the New York Giants this year and went 2-3 as the starter while throwing for 1,341 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in 11 total games played. He actually somewhat sparked the passing offense when Daniel Jones went down with an injury. Regarded as one of the most consistent backup quarterbacks, the 34-year-old Taylor is a free agent who could latch on with the other New York NFL team this offseason. 

4. Joshua Dobbs 

Joshua Dobbs
SF • QB • #5
CMP%62.8
YDs2464
TD13
INT10
YD/Att5.91
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Dobbs had probably the most dramatic 2023 season of any quarterback, but he became a major storyline because of it. It all started when the Browns traded him to the Arizona Cardinals before the season began. He went 1-7 for Arizona and kept the Cards competitive, but was traded to the Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline. Less than a week after being acquired by Minnesota, Dobbs was thrust onto the field after Jaren Hall suffered a concussion, and he led a comeback victory over the Falcons in Atlanta. Despite not knowing the Vikings playbook or all of his teammates' names, Dobbs scored three total touchdowns in a 31-28 upset victory. Dobbs eventually was benched after going 2-2 as the starter for the Vikings, but he showed ability as both a leader and a dual-threat quarterback. Now, he's a free agent looking for a new deal.

3. Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett
NE • QB • #12
CMP%78.3
YDs224
TD3
INT0
YD/Att9.74
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The Washington Commanders backup didn't start a game in 2023, but Brissett did throw for 224 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in three total games. If you recall, Brissett was impressive starting for the Browns while Deshaun Watson served his suspension in 2022. He threw for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions while the Browns ranked top 12 in points per game and yards per game with Brissett under center. The N.C. State product has started games for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Browns, going 18-30 in all. 

2. Tyler Huntley

Tyler Huntley
CLE • QB • #10
CMP%56.8
YDs203
TD3
INT0
YD/Att5.49
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How about a recent Pro Bowler for the Jets' backup quarterback? Huntley went 2-2 as the starter for the Baltimore Ravens in 2022 and made the playoffs while Lamar Jackson was injured. That led to Huntley's Pro Bowl selection as an alternate. Huntley was a restricted free agent last offseason, but is unrestricted this year.

He is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback, which would have made life easier for the Jets offense in 2023 given how bad the offensive line was. It will be interesting to see what Huntley's market looks like, but the 26-year-old should have some suitors. In 20 total games played, he has thrown for 1,957 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions while rushing for 509 yards and three more scores.

1. Sam Howell (via trade)

Sam Howell
SEA • QB • #6
CMP%63.4
YDs3946
TD21
INT21
YD/Att6.45
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Adding Howell via trade would be a great idea for the Jets. At the very least, he's a borderline starter who is only 23 years old. In his first full season as starter, Howell ranked No. 12 in passing yards (3,946) and T-No. 15 in passing touchdowns (21) but was sacked a league-high 65 times (fourth-most in NFL history.) Howell had the most passing attempts in the NFL (612) and threw more interceptions than any other quarterback (21). He seemingly flamed out as the season went on, as the UNC product had the worst TD-INT ratio and passer rating in the NFL over his last seven games. 

Since the Commanders have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, they are expected to take their quarterback of the future. That could leave Howell available via trade, and he shouldn't come that expensive. SNY also reported that there are those in the Jets building who believe Howell can play. He could be the "Zach Wilson" who learns under Rodgers for a couple years, and then gets the chance to take over as the full-time starter.