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Mike White gets one more chance to prove he’s the future

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New York Jets quarterback Mike White winds up to pass.
New York Jets quarterback Mike White winds up to pass.
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Jets quarterback Mike White has one more opportunity on Sunday to show the Jets that he could be their quarterback of the future. 

Gang Green is heading into their final game of the season after being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention last week, and while they’ll surely look to end the season on a high note, many eyes are already trained on the offseason. 

The team has built a solid roster on both sides of the ball, but they’ve had one glaring problem: the quarterback position. 

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New York has played three different passers under center this season, beginning with veteran Joe Flacco who played the first three games of the year while Zach Wilson was out with a leg injury. 

When Wilson returned, he played seven games. While the team won five of those contests, it was largely ins spite of Wilson’s play, as he looked utterly outmatched — culminating in a horrific performance in Week 11 against the Patriots, when he had just nine completions, compared to the team’s 10 punts. 

After that, Wilson was sent to the bench in favor of White. 

Once he came in, the team looked rejuvenated, and the 27-year-old showed flashes of brilliance while earning the respect of his teammates. 

He played three games before getting hurt, and returned three weeks later during last week’s loss against the Seattle Seahawks. While he did look like he was still struggling with his injury, his most recent performance was ugly, and dealt a serious reality-check to the Mike White believers.  

Sunday’s finale against the Miami Dolphins will be his fifth and final game of the season.

Through his first four games, White has recorded a 58.86% completion rate, with 298 passing yards per game, and three total touchdowns. He also has seen four interceptions. 

Now, he’ll get his final opportunity to show that he belongs, and can be a long term option at MetLife Stadium. 

The Dolphins have given up the sixth-most passing yards (3,842) and the third-most passing touchdowns (27) of any team this year — so it will be a favorable matchup for White. 

But he’ll need to put on a significantly impressive performance if he wants to solidify his place in the locker room heading into the offseason. 

When the season ends, there is expected to be significant movement among quarterbacks in the league, along with multiple young passers entering the NFL Draft — so the Jets have many options other than White. 

Meanwhile, the Jets have continuously said that they’re interested in keeping Wilson, and possibly slotting him back into their starting role next season. 

So White will need to convince the Jets to stay with him over Wilson, and also not invest heavily in a quarterback draft pick, free agent signing, or trade target. 

Among the established veterans that the Jets most-realistically could target are Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and 49ers signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo.

Other, more unlikely (but still possible) options include Buccaneers’ Tom Brady, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and Ravens’ Llamar Jackson. 

Those names should deliver some fear for Mike White, and will only make his upcoming game against the Dolphins even more important for his future if he wants to keep the starting job in New York. 

For more coverage of Mike White and the Jets, head to amNY.com.