Earlier this season, the New York Jets made a surprising move by agreeing to trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. The former Super Bowl MVP has since gone on to deliver a fairly uninspiring start under center before landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact just two days later.
Although the trade still has some scratching their heads, Jets head coach Robert Saleh is standing by the move.
When asked about the deal on Wednesday, Saleh explained that he saw no risk in getting a veteran quarterback like Flacco that could still play at a high-level when called upon.
“When someone offers a sixth-round pick for a player of Joe’s caliber, there is no risk,” Saleh said, per Pro Football Talk.
Robert Saleh stands by Jets trading for Joe Flacco, claims it was a "no risk" move. https://t.co/TxhCBwv5yx
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 24, 2021
Flacco did manage to keep the Jets competitive against the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s 24-17 loss. In his first start since 2020, he completed 24 of his 39 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the weekend’s loss was compounded by Flacco landing on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 on Tuesday. The 36-year-old is unvaccinated, so he is forced to miss the next few days as a close contact to fellow quarterback Mike White, who tested positive for the virus.
Saleh might be right that having a veteran of Flacco’s caliber on the roster is worthwhile. However, the Jets could have just re-signed the former Super Bowl MVP this past spring to mentor rookie Zach Wilson throughout the season.
Instead, New York let Flacco walk only to give up a sixth-round pick to get him on the roster later on. Considering he’s not even able to suit up this week because he’s unvaccinated, it’s hard to defend the Jets’ process.
Saleh will now have the difficult task of figuring out which quarterback will line up under center for his team’s game against the Houston Texans this Sunday.