For the first time since 2007, Matt Ryan wasn’t on an NFL sideline in Week 1. Instead, he was in the CBS television booth, starring in his regular season TV debut.
But despite his early TV success, Ryan’s name still came up in quarterback rumors after Week 1.
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Despite Jets head coach Robert Saleh clearly stating Zach Wilson is the team’s starting signal caller without Rodgers going forward, Pro Football Network’s Jason Katz connected several free agent quarterbacks, including the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, to the Jets on Tuesday.
“At 38 years old, Matt Ryan has little left. However, he still has his brain,” Katz wrote. “He could manage the game and allow the Jets’ defense and other playmakers to do the heavy lifting.”
NFL fans have heard that narrative previously. Ryan was expected to be the answer for the Indianapolis Colts last season because they were a team “a quarterback away” from competing for the Super Bowl. The Colts presumably also didn’t need a quarterback to do the heavy lifting.
Instead, the Colts offensive line crumbled, and All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor struggled to stay on the field because of injuries. Eventually, the defense wore down too last season after a controversial head coaching change.
A league-high 34 turnovers from the Colts offense, which Ryan was largely responsible for, didn’t help either.
In just 12 games last season, Ryan had 13 interceptions and a career-high 15 fumbles.
The Jets offensive line allowed 8 quarterback hits and 3 sacks against Buffalo in Week 1. Rodgers sustained his injury on the fourth snap of the game. On three of the snaps, Rodgers dropped back to pass, and he was hit on all three attempts.
Ryan’s lack of mobility would be a huge liability behind the Jets offensive line if the unit doesn’t improve.
However, the Jets have far better weapons than the Colts did last season. New York’s defense also looked elite against Josh Allen and the Bills in Week 1.
Those facts leave open the possibility of the Jets pursuing the 2016 MVP.
If the Jets could protect Ryan, he likely would be an upgrade over Zach Wilson.
In addition to Ryan, The Falcoholic’s Kevin Knight suggested Falcons current backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke could be a trade option for the Jets.
To make a Heinicke trade possible, though, he would have to be a significant upgrade over Ryan and the other free agent options. Otherwise, the Jets won’t find it worth giving up draft capital for the journeyman signal caller.
In addition to Ryan, Katz named seven other free agent quarterbacks that are potential replacements for Rodgers.
And for now, the Jets appear willing to give Wilson the chance to prove he can replace Rodgers.