It’s not often a team has to decide what to do with a 3rd string Hall of Fame QB in the NFL. Mike White’s victory over the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 season was likely the highest point of the season for Jets fans. White threw for 37 completions, 405 yards and 3 TDs in a game most Jets fans were expecting to be an ugly outing, and put his jersey in the HOF.
If the Jets decide to carry 2 QBs into the season
White will likely not make the cut. Flacco has more experience in the NFL, had a statistically better time of things when he saw the field in 2021 (albeit over 1 full game) and if Saleh’s recent comments are anything to go by he’s already the clear front runner for the back up job. But that leaves the Jets with a decision to make: do they carry 3 QBs on the roster taking a valuable spot for another player; do they try to trade White with a team looking for an upgrade at their QB2 spot; or do they stash White on the practice squad and risk him being snapped up on waivers?
Personally, I don’t see the value in carrying a 3rd QB on the roster. The Jets are insanely deep at DL, particularly coming off the edge, and have real options at TE, CB and S that could support the special teams game. Is it worth cutting Vinny Curry or Kenny Yeboah to keep Mike White around?
Is White worth trading for or taking on waivers? Outside of his one marvellous outing against the Bengals, White’s play teetered between poor and terrible in the limited time he saw on the field in 2021. In the 4 total games White played he threw 5 TDs and 8 INTs over 3.5 games with a woeful PFF grade of 53.6; if White had played the entire season at the same rate he’d have ended with 24 TDs and 38 INTs which is a disaster by any standard. That being said, White is still a middle of the road option at backup; no worse graded than the likes of Tim Boyle (Detroit) or Jarrett Stidham (Raiders.)
There’s plenty of teams who could be in the market. If San Fran succeed in finding a trade partner for Jimmy G they’ll have Nate Sudfeld standing by if things go pear-shaped with Trey Lance; Denver currently have former Jet Josh Johnson backing up Russell Wilson; and a team like Tennessee could prefer the small measure of NFL experience White would bring over Logan Woodside.
White is slightly more expensive than all those other guys ($2.54m – nothing guaranteed), but for teams like these with clear playoff aspirations, a good back up will be something that make all the difference.
Quite what White would fetch on the market is anyone’s guess given what Douglas has managed to get for other fringe roster players in the past. Minshew, Flacco and Bridgewater all moved for 6th round picks in 2021, but they are all a step above White, in my opinion (and PFF’s), so it may be more realistic to look at what the Patriots just got for Jarrett Stidham which amounted to a 6th rounder as well, but for the addition of a 7th round pick along with Stidham.