Todd Bowles might not be the New York Jets' head coach at this time if his former team, the Arizona Cardinals, had not lost their top two quarterbacks to season-ending injuries. Those injuries sent the Cardinals spiraling from 9-1 to 11-5, a big reason Bowles became available after just one playoff game. Who knows how deep the Cardinals might have gone in the postseason with a healthy Carson Palmer?
While Bowles won over the Jets with his leadership, personality, pedigree and defensive acumen, ultimately he will need a good quarterback in order to succeed. The Jets ranked 29th in Total QBR during the six-season Rex Ryan era, with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith starting 97 of 102 games. Bowles, new general manager Mike Maccagnan and new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey have options to consider as they decide how best to upgrade the area where the Jets have struggled the most.
They can wait to see if Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston remains available when the Jets are drafting with the sixth overall pick this year. They could consider trading up for one of those college quarterbacks. They could consider a couple of bridge quarterbacks in free agency. Those are some options I'll get into before considering a trade possibility that makes too much sense to ignore.