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Jets Free Agency Preview: Quarterbacks

Green & White Will Enter the League Year with Two UFAs


OverviewWhen the league year commences on March 9, the Jets are expected to have two quarterbacks on their roster. Bryce Petty, a 25-year-old who made his first four professional starts in 2016, underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder. Christian Hackenberg, a 22-year-old who was a second-round pick last April, is coming off a redshirt season. They are a pair of strong-armed signal callers who will be mentored by new offensive coaches in a new system this spring.

Jets Free AgentsRyan Fitzpatrick (UFA): The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick started 27 games for the Jets over the past two seasons. Lining up with his sixth NFL team, Fitzpatrick led the Green & White to 10 wins in 2015 as he passed for a franchise-record 31 TDs and a personal-best 3,905 yards. But Fitzpatrick, who re-signed with the club before its first training camp meeting last summer, and the offense were never able to duplicate the success the unit had in setting a franchise mark with 5,925 total yards.  He lost his starting spot on a couple of occasions, but injuries to Geno Smith and Petty forced Fitzpatrick back into the lineup. He finished on a high note, completing 20 of 30 for 210 yards and 2 TDs in the team's 30-10 win over the Bills in Week 17.

Best Images of the 2017 Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agents

Geno Smith (UFA): After making 29 starts in his first two seasons with the Jets, Smith fell victim to a pair of unfortunate injuries. A locker-room altercation in August of 2015 left Smith with a  broken jaw and set the stage for Fitzpatrick's initial surge. Then after backing up Fitzpatrick for the team's first six games in 2016, Smith made his first start in a Week 7 matchup with the Ravens. But the 6'3", 221-pounder suffered an ACL tear in the second quarter of the Jets' 24-16 triumph and subsequently was placed on injured reserve.  Smith recently told NFL Network that "all options are on the table" in regard to his futre.

The Market
The unrestricted list is headlined by Kirk Cousins, but the Washington Redskins could elect to use the franchise tag on him for a second  consecutive offseason.  Cousins nearly passed for 5,000 yards (4,917) last season while completing 67% of his passes with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. The 6'6", 225-pound Mike Glennon started 18 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Jameis Winston arrived and has thrown 30 TDs against only 15 interceptions. Brian Hoyer started 22 games the past three seasons with three different clubs. In relief of Jay Cutler last season, Hoyer completed 67% of his passes for the Bears with 6 TDs and 0 INTs. Matt Barkley also started in Chicago last season, completing 59.7% of his passes with 1,611 yards with 8 TDs and 14 INTs.  Case Keenum (Los Angeles Rams) and former Jet Mark Sanchez (Dallas Cowboys) have starting experience, but both might be viewed as backups at this point in their careers.  The Bills have a huge decision to make on Tyrod Taylor, picking up his contract option for nearly $31 million or letting Taylor go free.

SynopsisTodd Bowles has a new offensive coordinator and new quarterbacks coach in John Morton and Jeremy Bates.* *Before the Jets take a look elsewhere, they conducted a self-scout of what they have in house. While many pundits have declared Deshaun Watson (Clemson), Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina) and DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame) as the top passing talents in this year's draft class, some people don't see a franchise talent in this '17 class. There is a long way to go until the draft and the QB dominoes will begin to fall before then.

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