Former CFL QB Chris Streveler struggles as New York Jets open NFL preseason

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler failed to replicate his preseason magic from a year ago as the New York Jets fell 21-16 to the Cleveland Browns during the NFL’s exhibition opener on Thursday night.

Streveler took over the offence in the fourth quarter of the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, completing just one of seven pass attempts for nine yards and rushing once for seven yards. He also tossed an interception on the Jets’ final play from scrimmage.

The six-foot-one, 216-pound passer appeared to fall behind journeyman Tim Boyle in the battle to be the third-string quarterback in New York, as the offseason signee went six-of-11 for 61 yards. Former second-overall draft pick Zach Wilson further entrenched himself as the backup behind new franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, going three-for-five and 65 yards.

Streveler was a last-minute addition to the Jets’ training camp in 2022 but captured national attention during the preseason, leading the team to three consecutive victories. He completed 24-of-33 passes for 277 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception while running the ball nine times for 71 yards in what head coach Robert Saleh dubbed “one of the greatest preseasons in the history of football,” but was still released as part of final roster cuts. He later rejoined the team on the practice roster.

The 28-year-old spent the majority of the season on the Jets practice squad, though he was elevated to the active roster on three separate occasions. The dual-threat pivot came off the bench late in the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, completing 10-of-15 passes for 90 yards while adding a team-high nine carries for 54 yards on the ground in his only action of the season.

The Jets elevated Streveler again a week later, though he did not take any snaps under centre. The move officially vested the quarterback in the NFL pension plan, which provides $19,800 USD annually for life. Compensation is supposed to increase to $22,000 USD annually in 2025 based on expected upward trends in league revenue.

Streveler previously saw action in seven games over two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2020-21) and completed 17-of-25 pass attempts for 141 yards, one touchdown, and one interception with seven carries for 21 yards. The dual-threat passer later had stints with the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins but did not see game action.

The CFL fan favourite rose to prominence in two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2018-19), completing 65 percent of his passes for 2,698 yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,167 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Streveler was especially effective during Winnipeg’s championship run in 2019, rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown in the West Semi-Final before throwing a touchdown pass to Andrew Harris in the Grey Cup.

The Jets will next play on Saturday, August 12 when they visit the Carolina Panthers.