Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan wanted insurance at the quarterback position this year.
Now, he may really need it.
In one aspect, he and the Jets may be looking at 2017 over again.
As of this writing, Sam Darnold had not reported to training camp. It is about an issue that should not be a big deal to either party. It is rumored to be about “offsets” applying to Darnold’s fourth and final year of his rookie contract.
The hangup is the Jets don’t want to be on the hook for paying for Darnold if they would cut him and another team would sign him.
Sources have indicated both sides have dug in.
One side has to blink. The Jets certainly don’t need this. Instead, they need Darnold in camp.
The calm, California signal caller was impressive in the OTA and mini-camp with his natural abilities and skills. Those playoff visions were back and dancing in everyone’s head.
Practices, playbooks, playbacks. They are all essential right now to Darnold. Learn and adapt quickly and the future of the franchise will be placed in his hands. Get the nod in Week One.
Still, Maccagnan has insurance.
He has veteran Josh McCown back as the presumed incumbent to start the season, and he took a flyer on Teddy Bridgewater, who had passed every test before camp began.
Either can handle the Jets’ load.
If Darnold’s holdout drags on, the spotlight will be on Bridgewater.
He is possibly the wildcard in camp. Bridgewater will be closely watched and scrutinized to see if he can regain the magic he had with Minnesota a few years ago.
If he can, the Jets will have found a steal of the season. Still, this is a big if.
With all three in camp, the Jets have one of their best quarterback situations likely dating back to the days of Joe Namath, Babe Parilli, and either Al Woodall or Bob Davis.When needed, any one of the three stepped in for Namath. Or remember the Ken O’Brien, Matt Robinson, and Richard Todd era?
Yet, Maccagnan has insurance to cover it.
If Darnold holds out until late in camp and Bridgewater creeps along slowly as well, he can turn to McCown. He is a year older and maybe a year less mobile.
Then Jets’ fans can think about 2017 again.