Jets GM Joe Douglas shares perception on ‘incredible go to’ with Derek Carr

The New York Jets are balancing the difficult juggling act of pursuing veteran quarterbacks, which they promised to do when the season ended, whereas additionally preaching confidence within the halted growth of former second-overall decide Zach Wilson.

The Jets had been one of many first groups to fulfill with quarterback Derek Carr after the Las Vegas Raiders minimize him this offseason. He looks like a pure match for the Jets, and there’s loads of mutual curiosity, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Jets common supervisor Joe Douglas poured on reward for Carr throughout a press convention on the NFL mix in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

“That was a fantastic visit. Really enjoyed spending time with him,” Douglas informed reporters. “Obviously, he’s the only quarterback that I can shed light on for your guys because he’s the only quarterback that’s a free agent. I can say that he left a strong impression with everybody and so obviously we’re going to be exploring the veteran quarterback market this offseason and we’re going to look at every available option.”

When it comes to creating a call on signing a Carr — or any quarterback — Douglas mentioned he “can’t give a direct timetable, a specific timetable.” Carr is in a novel state of affairs. He hit the market forward of the 2023 free company interval which begins on March 15. So groups is likely to be slow-playing Carr whereas they wait to see which different choices will hit the open market in free company. And, after all, Aaron Rodgers’ potential commerce looms massive, with the Packers clearly open to the concept of shifting him if he needs to proceed enjoying.

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For now, the Jets are brazenly eager on Carr.

“High-level producer. Phenomenal person,” Douglas mentioned. “After spending some time with him, very authentic. Again, ultra-intelligent. Just very comfortable in his own skin. Highly competitive.”

The difficult half is how the Jets trip the quarterback carousel whereas managing the event of their teenager: Wilson.

Douglas mentioned newly-hired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and passing sport coordinator Todd Downing are “so excited to get with Zach and start working.” Wilson and the Jets employees “have had some positive discussions,” per Douglas.

“We still feel like Zach has a very high ceiling,” Douglas added. “Obviously the first two years haven’t played out the way that anybody’s hoped,” Douglas mentioned. “I’ve found that when players love this game and when players work their tails off, they usually hit their ceiling and so I feel like Zach definitely has those traits. So still feel strongly that Zach is going to be able to hit his ceiling.”

Wilson had a brutal season, even with the Jets ending the season at 7-10. Wilson accomplished 54.5% of his passes for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 9 video games. He struggled with easy throws and neutered the offense’s capacity to utilize their receivers, from rookie Garrett Wilson to Elijah Moore to Corey Davis. The group benched him a number of occasions and he completed the season as QB3 on the depth chart.

Because Wilson is on his rookie deal, the Jets can afford to roster him and one other quarterback, however Wilson’s cap hit ($9.6 million) would make him one of many highest-paid backups within the NFL — and possibly the highest-paid. So there’s good cause for the Jets to commerce Wilson, in the event that they get the correct deal. In the meantime, Douglas asserted that the group’s wage cap numbers are in good well being, even when it doesn’t seem that approach. New York is over the cap by $1 million.

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“We hardly have any money pro-rated into the future on our salary cap, so we have a great flexibility to create very large amounts of cap space, if necessary,” Douglas mentioned.

In translation, the Jets can restructure a handful of contracts to release an enormous quantity of area by kind of borrowing from their bounty of cap area in 2024. That can be how they afford so as to add a quarterback like Carr, retain Wilson and maintain a handful of their pending free brokers — and even perhaps add just a few on the open market in March.

Prior to becoming a member of FOX Sports because the AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years masking the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter at @McKennAnalysis.

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