Joe Douglas says Derek Carr left 'strong impression' with Jets as team explores 'every available option' at QB

Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the first half at Allegiant Stadium.
Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jets general manager Joe Douglas spoke at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, and discussed how the team is going about "exploring the veteran quarterback market" as they "look at every available option."

New York has already met with veteran free agent Derek Carr after he was waived by the Las Vegas Raiders, and Douglas said that it was a "fantastic visit" with the four-time Pro-Bowler. He added that the team will be prepared to make the right choice at QB when the time comes.

"Obviously you guys have seen reports about us bringing Derek Carr in about a week and a half ago. I can tell you that was a fantastic visit, we really enjoyed spending time with him," Douglas explained. "Obviously he's the only quarterback that I can shed light on for you guys, since he's the only quarterback that's a free agent. I can say that he left a strong impression with everybody. Obviously we are going to be exploring the veteran quarterback market this offseason, and we're going to look at every available option.

"Feel like when it's time to make the right decision, when everyone goes through their process, we're going to make the best decision for the Jets."

While Douglas made it clear that the team doesn't have an exact timetable on when they will make their move for a veteran QB, he expressed confidence that when they do, it'll be the right decision for the organization.

"Like I think it's hard to put an exact timetable, I think everybody would like it done sooner rather than later, but everyone has their own process," Douglas said. "I feel like we have our process with exploring the market, exploring options. And each player has their own process in terms of what they have going on. Can't give a direct timetable, a specific timetable. But again, when a decision is ready to be made I feel very strongly we're going to make the right decision for the Jets."

Douglas went on to talk about Carr's character and winning qualities, and added that he understands the soon-to-be 32-year-old wants to take his time and make the right choice for himself and his family on where he will play next season.

"Obviously with Derek, high-level producer, but really a phenomenal person," Douglas said. "Just spending time with him, very authentic, ultra intelligent, very comfortable in his own skin, highly competitive. On the tape you see the talent, you see the release, the velocity, the way he gets the ball out, the decision-making, the accuracy, a lot of things to like."

Douglas added:

"I don't want to speak for Derek, but obviously this is the first time that he's been a free agent in his pro career. Being around him and seeing how smart a person he is, I know he's going to be thorough with his process to make sure that him and his family end up in the right destination for them. We're going to respect his process, and again, we'll be ready to make a decision when the time comes."

Douglas said the Jets will spend more time with Carr this week at the Combine, and will "be ready to pull the trigger when we have to." He noted that the Jets are still "looking at every option" when it comes to signing a player or potentially trading draft capital for someone. Notably, the Jets are also interested in Green Bay Packers disgruntled QB Aaron Rodgers, but would have to trade multiple draft picks to acquire the four-time MVP.

The GM was then asked if the team has had any contract extension talks with star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and his agent, sharing how they have gone so far in the offseason. Williams was named to the First-Team All-Pro team after a dominant 2022 season in which he recorded a career-high 12.0 sacks and is well-deserving of a big pay day to stay in New York.

"We've had several good discussions with Nicole [Lynn] and Quinnen since the season, and we feel really good with where we're at," Douglas said. "Again, feel good that this process is going to play out in the right way."

Douglas added that running back Breece Hall is doing well in his recovery from a torn ACL and the plan is for him to be ready for the start of the season.

"Yeah, Breece is doing great in his recovery," Douglas said. "I know he had a visit with Dr. Cooper in Dallas and he's progressing great. Really Breece, AVT [Alijah Vera-Tucker], Mekhi [Becton], they're all doing great in their recovery and we feel good about their return."

The Jets will soon have to decide on if they will pick up Becton's fifth-year option, as the former No. 11 pick has played just one game over the last two seasons while battling injuries. Despite the injury history, Douglas believes that Becton can contribute as a starter this season.

"We don't have to make a decision on the fifth-year option until after the draft, so we're not ready to announce any decision on that," Douglas said. "In terms of Mekhi being able to be a starter, I think for any of you guys that were here during the 2020 season, you saw what a healthy Mekhi can do on the football field and how dominant of a player he was as a rookie, early in his rookie year.

"Unfortunately, the last few years have been frustrating from an injury standpoint. I can tell you that Mekhi's in as good of a place now as I've seen him in a long time. He's working his tail off and he wants to be the best player he can be for the New York Jets."