March 2: McCown reiterated to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune that he would prefer to remain with Chicago “so long as an agreeable deal materializes.” Such a deal would of course include a raise over the $865K salary he received last season, but McCown is also seeking an opportunity to showcase his experience and leadership. McCown insisted, however, that he could accomplish those goals without being a starter. That could come as welcome news to teams like the Jets and Bucs, who are looking for a capable insurance plan and legitimate camp competition for their young QBs.
February 24: While McCown may be on the Jets’ wish list, the signal-caller will also draw strong interest from the Bears and Buccaneers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
February 23: The Jets are eyeing free agent QB Josh McCown, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. After his strong performance in relief of the injured Jay Cutler last year, McCown figures to have a number of suitors for his services when free agency opens March 11, and the Jets appear ready to throw their hat into the ring.
Although McCown has expressed his desire to stay in Chicago, and although the Bears have said they would do everything they could to fulfill that desire, teams in need of a backup QB or teams that have a questionable starter at the position could look at McCown as a solid veteran option. The Raiders, who have no clear long-term solution at quarterback, and the 49ers, who may have a need for a backup QB with Colt McCoy an impending free agent, have been named as potential landing spots.
The Jets, meanwhile, have high hopes for second-year QB Geno Smith but hope to have a more settled situation behind him in case he falters. Last year, David Garrard was never viewed as a realistic option when Smith struggled, and Matt Simms–who was the “official” backup–had even less experience than Smith. McCown would give the Jets a viable alternative if Smith consistently underperforms in 2014, and he at least would provide legitimate competition in camp.