The New York Jets’ pursuit of Derek Carr has gone as far as mentioning Canton, Ohio, to the top free agent quarterback.
For those that are unaware, that’s the destination of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a place the Jets told Carr he would land if he were to win in New York.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini broke down the Jets’ recent meeting with Carr, which she reports went very well for both parties.
“In terms of [how] New York was trying to sell him because, let’s face it, that’s what they’re doing at this point. They were pretty clear with him,” Russini said. “They told him he’s a great quarterback. They believe that he’s got a legit surrounding cast of players. They went through the top [defense], the strong, young skill guys, the explosive run game. They went through top to bottom of why Derek Carr can step in here and take this team not just to the playoffs, but to the Super Bowl.”
But the grand finale of the Jets’ pitch came down to winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy and what that would do for Carr’s image in the tri-state area.
“They made it really personal, too. They said, ‘We believe if you come to New York and win, you could be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.’ So they went full-in on Derek Carr here and let him know they really want him to play for the New York Jets.”
As Russini mentioned, Carr is in the driver’s seat with this situation. He was released by the Las Vegas Raiders, who are aiming to go in a different direction at quarterback after Carr spent nine seasons in silver and black. For the first time, he’s able to meet with any team he likes, and he doesn’t have to wait for the legal tampering period like other free agents because of when his release occurred.
But the Jets appear to want Carr badly, as head coach Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas recognizes that they are coming up to a championship window. They have bright, young talent on both sides of the ball under contract.
Unfortunately, their second overall pick, Zach Wilson, flopped in his sophomore season and the Jets clearly believe he has more developing to do. Learning behind a veteran quarterback that has proven success in the league is the way they want to proceed.
Teams like the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and others will be looking to court Carr soon and pitch their own ideas for him with their supporting cast.
But the Jets are also in the driver’s seat with ample amounts of cap space to outbid teams as well as the offensive line and weapons in the pass and run game to entice Carr to wear green and white next season.
And while the Super Bowl is on the Jets’ mind, Carr might be the missing piece they need to break their playoff drought that moved to 12 straight seasons after posting a 7-10 record in 2022.