Jets owner Woody Johnson willing to spend big to land veteran quarterback: ‘That’s kind of the missing piece’

 

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is willing to spend big to solve the team’s quarterback woes, admitting Thursday that it’s the “missing piece.”

The Jets extended their playoff drought to 12 years after dropping six straight to end the season 7-10. Among the most glaring issues the Jets have faced is the instability at the quarterback position.

Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets reacts after a game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

“Zach [Wilson] had a tough year,” Johnson told reporters on Thursday via the team’s website.

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“There’s no denying that. And so, I still have confidence that I’ve seen some kernels of real talent there. And we saw it both at Brigham Young University but also the first two years he was here.”

After battling through injury and two benchings this season, Johnson acknowledged that he’s seen Wilson’s confidence level go down but added that he believes his former first-round pick still has “unbelievable talent.”

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sits on the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in East Rutherford.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

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Despite his confidence in Wilson, Johnson said he would “absolutely” be willing to spend to get a veteran quarterback on the roster.

“We’ve got a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend. But, yeah, yeah, that’s kind of the missing piece,” he said via ESPN.

“Defense was an unbelievable story that you saw this year, from last place to close to the top in defense in terms of points and in terms of any measurable. And if you could do the same thing on offense, I mean, it looks pretty good. Right? Our special teams is good. Brant Boyer, great coach. So, I think we’re set. It’s just [we] have to deal with the offense and the quarterback.”

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson looks on before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on October 2, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

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There will be no shortage of available proven vets heading into the offseason. Lamar Jackson and Jimmy Garoppolo are names that have surfaced and, most recently, a possible trade with the Las Vegas Raiders for Derek Carr.

The Jets will also be looking for an offensive coordinator after agreeing to part ways with Mike LaFleur on Wednesday.

“I think we could’ve done a better job, for sure,” Johnson said, “and we will do a better job next year.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.