New York Jets: Alex Smith

Smith to KC, one less QB on market

February, 27, 2013

The Jets never showed interest in former 49ers QB Alex Smith, who reportedly was traded to the Chiefs, but it impacts them because there's one less quarterback on the market.

So who's left? The pickings are slim. Smith was the most accomplished quarterback available, which isn't saying much. He would've been an upgrade over Mark Sanchez, but enough to justify his $8.5 million salary? No way.

The Jets' search continues. This isn't a good time to be in the quarterback market, as there are no sure-fire answers in the draft and free agency. Let's take an inventory:


Brady Quinn, Chiefs: Jets expressed interest in him last March.
Matt Moore, Dolphins: Steady game manager. A hold-the-fort player.
Jason Campbell, Bears: Hasn't played much the last two years, but he has talent.


Matt Flynn, Seahawks: John Idzik connection, knows West Coast offense.
Nick Foles, Eagles: New OC Marty Mornhinweg knows him well from Philly.


Matt Cassel, Chiefs: Ugh.
Kevin Kolb, Cards: Another Mornhinweg protégé; could be cut before March 15 if he doesn't re-work his contract. Pay close attention, Jets fans, this could be the guy.

QB options for Jets: Flynn, Smith

February, 21, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Seahawks' Matt Flynn and the 49ers' Alex Smith, backup quarterbacks looking for starting jobs and perhaps new homes, are available if the Jets are interested.

Their respective general managers, speaking Thursday at the scouting combine, didn't rule out the possibility of trades.

"We're going to look at all options available," 49ers GM Trent Baalke said. "Are we going to trade (Smith) for sure? That hasn't been decided."

You can bet they'll try hard to make a deal, considering Smith has a $6.5 million guarantee that kicks in April 1 -- prohibitive for a backup quarterback. Smith, of course, lost his job to Colin Kaepernick.

Predictably, Seahawks GM John Schneider spoke glowingly of Flynn, whom he signed last offseason to a three-year, $19.5 million contract in free agency. Flynn never saw the field because of the emergence of Russell Wilson, seemingly making Flynn expendable.

Schneider said they're "blessed to have two starting-caliber quarterbacks," which is what you'd expect him to say at this stage of the offseason. But he also acknowledged that "we're always going to listen to everything."

Flynn and Smith are two options for the quarterback-needy Jets. Both have a background in the West Coast offense, and Flynn is particularly intriguing because Jets GM John Idzik is a former Seahawks executive who negotiated Flynn's contract. Flynn is due to make $5.25 million for the coming season, which could be financially taxing for the Jets, who already have $8.25 million committed to Mark Sanchez.

Three-point stance: San Francisco 49ers

September, 27, 2012
The New York Jets enter Week 4 as the only team in the NFL with two divisional wins as they gear up to host the San Francisco 49ers. With CB Darrelle Revis injured for the remainder of the season, Gang Green will have to improvise on defense to replace the NFL leader in passes defended since 2007.

The 49ers suffered a surprising defeat in Minnesota last week. On defense, San Francisco allowed a Total QBR of 89.9 to Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, their second-worst performance in the Total QBR era since 2007.

Of the 15 games scheduled in the NFL, this will be one of the two (Cowboys/Bears, MNF, ESPN) featuring opponents with winning records. Let's break down three statistical keys for this marquee matchup:

1. The Jets will have to defend a dynamic pass catcher in Vernon Davis, who is tied with Heath Miller for the NFL lead in touchdown receptions (four). Despite his position, Davis presents a deep threat as he leads qualified tight ends with an average target depth of 11.4 yards downfield. Meanwhile, the Jets have been physical with tight ends, holding them to 2.1 yards after catch, best among NFL defenses in 2012.

2. The 49ers have used a standard four-man pass rush on 79.7 percent of defensive plays since the start of last season, second in the NFL behind only the Eagles. Maximizing pressure with minimal personnel has allowed San Francisco to drop seven in coverage and disrupt passing lanes. From the start of 2011, the 49ers rank third in passes defended and lead the NFL with 21 interceptions when using four pass rushers or fewer.

Mark Sanchez could test that secondary. He leads the NFL with an average throw distance of 11.3 yards downfield against four or fewer pass rushers.

3. Alex Smith will face an aggressive Jets defense that ranks second in the NFL with added pressure on 42.4 percent of opponent dropbacks. Smith has been tops in the league against added pass pressure and trails only Robert Griffin III in Total QBR against five or more pass rushers. The Jets might need to change the game plan against Smith, especially without Revis to clamp down in the secondary.