On Monday, the first quarterback domino of the NFL offseason fell with Derek Carr choosing to sign with the New Orleans Saints. Of all the possible butterfly effects at play as a result of the move, the one drawing the most attention is what the New York Jets will do now. Many believed Carr to be a perfect fit for Gang Green and the team met with him soon after he was officially released by the Las Vegas Raiders.
Carr is obviously off the table now and it appears obvious from the information at hand that the Jets want to wait and see what happens with Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is supposed to make a decision on his football future soon, but there doesn't appear to be a timetable for that to happen. If he decides to return but wants to leave the Green Bay Packers, New York will be in contention to trade for him. The Jets check all the required boxes: a competitive team with assets to burn and in another conference.
Waiting on his decision might have cost the Jets Carr. Now it feels like they're in Rodgers or bust mode, which is a dangerous place to be. Nobody has a clue what he's going to do. If he doesn't retire there is zero guarantee he'd rather play somewhere else. It feels like the Packers are preparing for next season without him but if he says he wants to say in Green Bay, can the franchise really say no and trade him anyway?
It is risky business for the Jets, but they aren't in Rodgers or bust territory quite yet.
Carr's tour has taken center stage so far this offseason but it's easy to forget Jimmy Garoppolo will be open for business when free agency begins next Wednesday. He's not quite as good as Carr but would still fit well with the Jets' roster. Everyone has just sort of neglected to mention him because, unlike Carr or Rodgers, negotiations for his services cannot begin until the new league year starts on March 15.
Garoppolo isn't even the Jets' only alternative. The Titans are tearing down their team, cutting as many high-price veterans as possible and even shopping Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill could very well be next and he's in the same tier as Garoppolo and Carr. If the Jets are dead-set on star hunting, Lamar Jackson is in play as long as he is unable to reach a long-term deal with the Ravens.
Carr going to New Orleans certainly limits New York's options. But the Jets are not on the verge of running it back with Mike White and Zach Wilson next season if a move for Rodgers doesn't pan out. Not yet, anyway.