As the Jets take on the Washington Redskins this Thursday night, Todd Bowles becomes one step closer to announcing who will earn the starting gig under center.
With viable options in Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold, every week of preseason is treated a bit different in New York. Other teams are usually sure of their starter. The majority of reps at quarterback are taken by second and third-stringers looking for a spot on the roster. Not with Gang Green, however.
Each week is treated as a competition, where coaches get a chance to evaluate all three prospects. In their first matchup with Atlanta, McCown got the nod at starter and saw minimal snaps. Impressing all in attendance, both Bridgewater and Darnold had solid first-performances in green and white.
Bridgewater took the field second, followed by Darnold to finish out the game – should fans expect more of the same?
The Jets spent all week in Richmond, VA, to attend joint-practices with the Redskins. His stock on the rise, Darnold received a noticeable increase in first-team reps. Receiving compliments from the likes of Josh Norman, the USC product has done enough to warrant the start in his second-ever preseason matchup.
So here's some perspective on Sam Darnold: He just spent three days practicing against the #Redskins. Unofficially, he took 70 reps in 11 vs. 11 periods. Attempted 36 passes. Not a single interception. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 15, 2018
The question remains:
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Where does that leave the veteran signal-callers?
No matter how good of a story it is, Bridgewater is simply the odd man out. Showing he can still be a starter in this league, the former-Viking is likely putting on a show for other suitors. With the capital the Jets have in Sam Darnold, it’s been noted that Bridgewater is a potential trade-chip for teams in need of a quarterback with upside. With the rookie on the rise, this may be the last week we see No. 5 on the roster.
This scenario is dependent on many things: Darnold getting the start, showing he can perform against a starting defense, and the willingness of New York to move Bridgewater before Week 1.
One thing is for certain, the team is not likely to move Josh McCown. He serves as more than a quarterback on the 53-man roster. A mentor to many positions, Gang Green is a fan of the veteran’s attitude and the intangibles he brings to the table. With a one-year contract, although the same length as Bridgewater’s, the Jets have more to gain in trading away the younger player.
Can we be certain that the Jets will move Bridgewater at all? No.
Truth be told, he may very well earn the starting job himself. It just seems like the team is more willing to ride with Darnold as we approach the regular season. Either way, Bowles will have his hands full trying to deal with this three-headed monster at quarterback.