The Lions plan to trade Matthew Stafford.
The Texans might trade Deshaun Watson.
So which high-profile quarterback is a better fit for the Jets, presuming they want to move on from Sam Darnold and don’t want to draft a quarterback?
Well, the answer seems fairly simple.
It’s Watson, even though his trade price would be higher — probably at least three first-round picks.
Stafford is about to turn 33. He has two years left on his contract, with salaries of $9.5 million and $12.5 million, plus a $10 million roster bonus each year. Not cheap, though none of the money is fully guaranteed yet. (So a team could ditch him after 2021 if it wanted to.)
The Jets surely won’t be a playoff contender in 2021, no matter who their quarterback is. Do they really want to trade a decent-sized draft haul for Stafford, at this point in his career, and at this point in their rebuilding process? They shouldn’t.
The Jets would have competition from win-now teams for Stafford’s services. He is still a productive player. In 2020, he ranked 14th in the NFL in quarterback rating (96.3), compared to second for Watson (112.4). With the right pieces in place, a team can win with Stafford.
That’s where teams like the Patriots, Saints, and Colts could come in. And maybe also the Steelers and 49ers, if Ben Roethlisberger retires and San Francisco doesn’t want to keep Jimmy Garoppolo. Washington…