The New York Jets quarterback position was one of the most hotly debated topics going into the 2018 offseason, and after a long training camp and three preseason games, the debate as to who will start under center is over.
Earlier today, the team dealt veteran Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 2019 third-round draft pick, while simultaneously naming Sam Darnold the starter for Week 1 of the 2018 season. That leaves 39-year old Josh McCown, who is one of the most underappreciated veterans in the league, as Darnold’s backup going into the season.
The Jets signed Bridgewater to a one-year $6 million contract earlier this offseason with a $1 million signing bonus. Through training camp and the first portion of the preseason, Bridgewater shone as one of the steadiest quarterbacks league-wide despite returning from a gruesome knee injury that sidelined him for the majority of two seasons. It appears he showed enough to give those in the Saints front office and coaching staff enough confidence to believe he will be a top tier backup and possible heir apparent to Drew Brees in the coming years.
Meanwhile, just a month after signing Bridgewater, the Jets drafted Darnold when he fell to the third-overall selection in this year’s draft. Touted as one of the best QBs in a very strong draft class, Darnold has shown the ability to make a splash this season. While he’ll certainly have growing pains, his play through three preseason games indicates that he can be the team’s quarterback of the future. Through those contests, Darnold has completed 29 of 45 passes (64.4%) for 244 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Those numbers may not jump off the page, but they’ve satisfied the Jets top brass enough to throw Darnold into the fire straight away.
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