The Miami Dolphins and former New York Jets quarterback Mike White have agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $16 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
White will back up Tua Tagovailoa, who had the fifth-year option on his rookie deal picked up, sources told ESPN on Friday.
White, who turns 28 on March 25, wound up starting four games for the Jets in 2022 after entering training camp as the third-string quarterback behind Zach Wilson and Joe Flacco. He went 1-3 as a starter while replacing the demoted Wilson.
White opened with a 315-yard, three-touchdown game to beat the Chicago Bears, as the Jets appeared playoff-bound with a 7-4 record. They didn’t win another game, however, and White’s performance leveled off before he was forced to miss two games with several fractured ribs after he was crushed by Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano.
Still not 100%, White returned for a must-win game against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17, but he aggravated the injury and played poorly with two interceptions in the 23-6 loss.
Though his final statistics weren’t eye popping — three touchdowns, four interceptions and a 58.9% completion rate — White won over the locker room with his toughness and leadership. He demonstrated big-play ability, throwing for more than 300 yards in two of his starts. He also played well enough to win the trust of the coaching staff, who were prepared to play him for the rest of the year before he got hurt.
White became an unrestricted free agent for the first time after making $2.54 million last season on the tender he received as a restricted free agent.
It has been a circuitous journey for White, who has been cut five times — once by the Dallas Cowboys, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft, and four times by the Jets, who kept bringing him back because they saw potential. Now the South Florida native gets to head home and play in Miami.
His signature moment came in 2021, when he started for the injured Wilson and passed for 405 yards and three touchdowns in a stunning upset of the Cincinnati Bengals, the eventual AFC champions. He set a record for most completions (37) by a player in his first start, and his jersey and the game ball were displayed the following week in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For his career, White is 2-5 as a starter, with eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini contributed to this report.