With the window officially open to contact free agents, things are really heating up in the NFL. We all know the major needs the New York Jets have address this year, but the question still remains as to how they will fill the positions. Will they opt for free agency or the NFL draft?
Here are my thoughts on why I think the quarterback position will dictate how the Jets will piece together the rest of the offensive puzzle
I've always subscribed to the philosophy that you build the core from the NFL Draft and you use free agency for stop gap players. I feel that Geno Smith, who was drafted last year, is John Idzik's plan for the future. He now must get that stop gap via free agency.
There has been a ton of talk about the quarterback and wide receiver positions during the off-season and just about every player has been linked to New York. In order to be even considered for top wide receiver talent in the free agency pool, Idzik has to bring in a top quarterback to back up or at least push Geno Smith.
Quarterback Should be the First Priority
I think it would be wise for John Idzik to concentrate on the backup quarterback position ASAP. No free agent wide receiver is going to favor the Jets not knowing the situation they're stepping into. Is Geno the starter? I'm sure they are asking themselves: "If Geno fails, at least there will be (Insert any guy here) to pick up the pieces and I'll still succeed."
It would be wise for Idzik to make an aggressive run at Michael Vick, although he wouldn't be my first choice.
Matt Schaub is said to be good as gone for the Texans, and although he has said in the past that he wouldn't play for the Jets, the brass should make a run at him. Both Vick and Schaub are probably better quarterbacks than Geno Smith as of right now, and both said that they would like to be starting not backing up.
You know that Idzik will want to push Smith in competition but deep down, he's going to want the guy he drafted to win the job. It just makes his life easier.
Can't Make a Decision on Sanchez Just Yet
You won't see a move on Mark Sanchez until the Jets land or miss on a big name quarterback in free agency, in my opinion. Although not a popular choice, Sanchez will be the safety net if all the plans to shore up a top free agent fail. His salary and his popularity are both issues with the organization and the fans, but Sanchez in my opinion is still a better quarterback than Geno right now. That's still coming off his surgery. I think the right move is to have Smith continue where he left off and be the starter for 2014. I just would like to see the Jets have a contingency plan in place just in case Smith either gets hurt or really struggles.