According to a report, there might be one very important member of the New York Jets hierarchy who’s not so upset Derek Carr signed elsewhere in NFL free agency. That would be the person at the top of the Jets organization, owner Woody Johnson.
However, the same report states that the front office, presumably general manager Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh, preferred Carr, who signed with the New Orleans Saints on Monday.
“Despite all the rumors of Derek Carr going to the Jets, one thing that held that up was that Jets owner Woody Johnson really wants Aaron Rodgers,” Matthew Berry wrote for nbcsportsedge.com. “So, the staff had to be supportive of that. However, secretly the rest of the team’s front office wanted Derek Carr.”
The Jets met twice with Carr after he was released by the Las Vegas Raiders in February. The first meeting took place in New Jersey and the second at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week. Johnson attended the second meeting.
Who dat ⚜️ pic.twitter.com/DIY8gBGuGu
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) March 6, 2023
Salah and Douglas both raved about Carr, as a quarterback and person. Each seemed enthused about the prospect of the 31-year-old replacing Zach Wilson as the Jets’ starting QB but it’s unknown if a contract offer was made.
Douglas said the Jets had a “fantastic visit” with Carr and that the QB “left a strong impression with everybody.”
New York, though, is known to be waiting on Rodgers. And according to reports, Rodgers met with the Jets on Monday.
“Now that Carr is reportedly signing with New Orleans, the Jets are in ‘Hoping for Rodgers’ mode,” Berry wrote. “If that doesn’t work out … who knows?”
Carr and Rodgers clearly have been New York’s top two targets this offseason. Legal free agent tampering begins next Monday and the signing period begins two days later. Jimmy Garoppolo is the most intriguing free-agent quarterback. The Jets have also been linked to Ryan Tannehill. However, Tannehill is still under contract and the Tennessee Titans said last week they do not plan to trade or release him.
The Jets need to be careful with their next step in this process. They lost out on Carr because the Saints were much more aggressive in their pursuit. They can’t put all of their eggs in the Rodgers basket if he’s going to drag out his decision into or beyond the free agency period, for fear they are left without a veteran quarterback in 2023.