NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A couple of big-name free agent quarterbacks are reportedly interested in playing for the Jets.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Friday that there is mutual interest between Gang Green and former Bears QB Jay Cutler. Meanwhile, NJ.com is reporting that former Redskins and Browns signal-caller Robert Griffin III is intrigued, too, by the possibility of playing for the Jets.
Immediately after Cutler was released by the Bears on Thursday, the Jets were mentioned in media reports as being interested in the 11-year veteran.
“And I’m told he has interest in them as well,” Rapoport said on “Good Morning Football.” “At this point, it’s really a matter of fit. There are a couple questions the Jets have to ask themselves: Is Jay Cutler the kind of quarterback that you want in your quarterback room? They have a couple young guys who they’d like to bring along — Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. Jay Cutler does not always have the greatest reputation for dealing with teammates. Whether or not that is reality, we’re not exactly sure. But do you want to bring Jay Cutler into your quarterback room? That’s one question.
“It is pretty obvious, though, he is the best veteran quarterback option out there. I would expect some sort of contact between Cutler and the Jets some point soon.”
The Bears granted Cutler’s release after reaching a deal with former Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon. Cutler, 33, had four years and $72 million remaining on his deal, including $15 million owed in 2017.
In New York, Cutler would be reunited with quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, just hired last month. Bates worked with Cutler while coaching on the staffs of the Broncos and Bears.
In his 11-year career with Denver and Chicago, Cutler has passed for 32,467 yards, 208 touchdowns and 146 interceptions. He is the Bears’ all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns. However, Cutler has been selected to just one Pro Bowl — in 2008 with the Broncos — and his teams have reached the playoffs just once — in 2010 with the Bears.
Last season, Cutler, who tore the labrum in his right shoulder, played in just five games, completing 59.1 percent of his passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
NJ.com’s report on Griffin’s interest in the Jets cites a person familiar with the quarterback’s thinking.
The Browns released the former Heisman Trophy winner and Rookie of the Year on Friday after one forgetful season in Cleveland. In five games, Griffin, 27, passed for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
In his rookie season, Griffin completed 65.6 percent of his throws for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven scores, as he led Washington to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.
But Griffin struggled to regain his rookie form after suffering a knee injury late in the 2012 season. He was benched by then-coach Mike Shanahan for the final three games of the 2013 season, and lost his starting job again in 2014 under new coach Jay Gruden. Griffin did not play a snap in 2015.
The Jets brought Griffin in for a visit last March while they were locked in a contract dispute with Ryan Fitzpatrick. There has been no indication yet that Gang Green is interested in him this time around.
New York’s options for a starting quarterback are quite limited after Glennon and Brian Hoyer were quickly snatched up in free agency and the Bills restructured Tyrod Taylor’s contract, preventing him from hitting the open market.
If they don’t sign Cutler or Griffin, the Jets would have to look either to free agency — where the top QBs available are Colin Kaepernick and Nick Foles — or explore a trade for Dallas’ Tony Romo, Denver’s Trevor Siemian or Cleveland’s Brock Osweiler. The Jets reportedly don’t view Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg as their Week 1 starter.