POLL: Who will be Jets’ Week 1 starting QB? Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater?
As the Jets this week conduct their third and final week of organized team activities and their second-to-last week of spring practices, period we are getting closer to the ramping up of their quarterback competition in training camp.
It’s likely the 35-year-old Derrick Johnson will fill the slot next to Whitehead. Johnson is on just a one-year, $1.5 million contract after the Chiefs released him, so it’s hard to set high expectations. One of Kansas City’s flaws over the years has overpaying veteran defenders, and Johnson was a cap liability relative to his talent.
Last year, he posted only 10 tackles at or behind the line, ranking sixth on the Chiefs defense. Even Frank Zombo, a struggling 3-4 outside linebacker, beat his mark. Johnson might not have another season left in the tank because he might have run out of gas years ago. He’s had a great career, but handing him a starting role is risky.
It’s hard to find flaws with teams that just won the Super Bowl. For the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been innovative in their cap space manipulation, the biggest regret they likely have is letting Patrick Robinson, a cornerback who bounced back under their watch, leave in free agency.
Matt Lutovsky: It’s almost impossible to make this comparison, but the bottom line is if both are fully healthy and you held a draft with every player in the NBA available and a draft with every player in the NFL available, Leonard would go much higher in the NBA draft than Beckham would in the NFL draft. Even if you narrow it down to just wide receivers, Beckham might go lower than Leonard would in an all-NBA draft. Again, this isn’t really a fair comparison given how different the sports are, but it’s more than reasonable to say Leonard is better at basketball than Beckham is at football.
Nick Birdsong (college basketball editor): If you want to use the position argument, Matt, consider Leonard a small forward. At best, you’d have to rate him behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant. The only receivers you’d rate ahead of Beckham are Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. When Beckham is healthy, you can make an argument he’s better than both those guys on any given Sunday. His numbers through the first three years of his career certainly suggest it. But that’s not even what makes him a better athlete than Leonard. It’s the fact he’s, well, more athletic.