4 perfect backups to help Sam Darnold grow into a star

The New York Jets are in the market for a veteran quarterback, and these four would be ideal backups for Sam Darnold.

Sam Darnold is not in any danger of being supplanted, but the New York Jets are clearly in the market for a veteran quarterback. The pickings are slim right now, especially after they fell short of getting Andy Dalton, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com has reported Matt Moore is not a realistic option. Moore overlapped with Jets’ head coach Adam Gase in Miami.

The Jets may be left to wait until teams cut players late in the preseason. The trade market may also open up a little more during whatever training camp and preseason winds up looking like this year.

Darnold’s primary backup right now is David Fales, who has 48 career pass attempts (42 in one game). No. 3 on the depth chart at this point is sixth-round rookie James Morgan. Over the last two seasons the Jets are 0-6 in games Darnold didn’t start, and last year was especially bad.

In the three games Darnold missed last year with mono, the Jets were 0-3 and they were outscored 84-23. Trevor Siemian made one start, got injured in that game and Luke Falk started the subsequent two games. It’s safe to say Darnold was not quite himself upon returning to action, and the Jets couldn’t recover completely from a 1-7 start on their way to 7-9.

The stakes are high for Gase this year, so he can’t leave his fate to Fales if Darnold were to miss time again. A veteran signal caller would also be a valuable mentor for Darnold, as he looks to take the next step in his third season.

These four quarterbacks would be ideal backups for Darnold, as both a mentor and capable fill-in if called upon.

4. Colt McCoy

McCoy signed with the New York Giants this offseason, and he immediately became the favorite to be Daniel Jones’ backup/veteran mentor. But the team has since claimed Cooper Rush off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, with his tie to offensive coordinator (and former Cowboys’head coach) Jason Garrett surely in mind.

McCoy has fashioned a career for himself as a backup. But it’s safe to say he’s now moving toward the roster bubble for the Giants, and it’s unclear where he might find an opportunity. The Jets should be ready to sign him if he is cut.

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