Josh McCown Signs With Jets

Josh McCown agreed to a one-year deal to join the Jets, according to the quarterback’s agent, Mike McCartney (on Twitter). McCown visited the Jets for multiple days last weekend. The Jets confirmed the move.

It’s a $6MM fully guaranteed deal for McCown, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets. That’s high-end backup money on the surface, but Breer adds another $7MM in incentives ($2MM in playing-time bonuses, $5MM in team-based bumps) could come his way. The team incentives aren’t likely to be earned, being associated with the playoffs and Super Bowl (per Breer, on Twitter), but McCown will receive $125K for each game in which he plays 50 percent of Gang Green’s snaps.

Until the parties finalized this agreement, Jay Cutler was slated to visit the Jets this week, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds a Jets/Cutler union is now off the table (Twitter link). The Jets reached out to both Cutler and McCown last week, but McCown was summoned for the initial visit. His asking price almost certainly wasn’t what Cutler’s is. The Jets paid Ryan Fitzpatrick $12MM last season after a lengthy impasse.

This agreement comes after the Jets brought in Chase Daniel for a visit today and have been linked throughout the offseason to Cutler. McCown profiles as a stopgap option, and it’s not a lock that this addition will stop the Jets from adding a younger veteran, but the team has two younger quarterbacks on the roster already in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. McCown looks set to have a great chance to start during what will be his 16th season.

Also connected to the Cowboys this offseason, McCown visited Dallas just before the new league year started. But the Cowboys weren’t willing to pay their next backup this much money, per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). The Cowboys reunited with Kellen Moore earlier today.

McCown has history with Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, working under him for two years as Cutler’s backup in Chicago. The 37-year-old McCown’s enjoyed a unique career arc, having spent many NFL seasons as a backup. But a strong showing in relief of Cutler on the 2013 Bears led to multiple agreements to serve as a starter. This could well be a third such commitment from a team.

McCown served as the primary starter for the 2014 Buccaneers and 2015 Browns. After an injury-plagued 2016 season in Cleveland, the Browns cut him with one year remaining on his deal. While the teams McCown’s quarterbacked during his late-career time as a starter have not enjoyed much success — McCown is 2-20 as a starter over the past three seasons — he has had stretches to generate intrigue. McCown completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for a Browns team that didn’t have Josh Gordon in 2015, throwing for 12 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight starts. For the ’13 Bears, McCown shined, completing nearly 67 percent of his throws and tossing 13 TD passes compared to just one INT in five starts of Cutler relief.

He will turn 38 in July. A Sunday-night PFR poll resulted in readers tabbing a McCown/Jets union as far less likely than the team deploying Cutler come Week 1. That could still happen, but it would likely require the Jets to carry four quarterbacks. Although the Jets aren’t particularly sold yet on the long-term viability of Petty or Hackenberg, it might be a rash decision for either to be cut out of training camp.

The Jets were also linked to Mike Glennon this offseason, but his $15MM-per-year price tag induced them to bow out. Brian Hoyer also intrigued Gang Green, but the 49ers added him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Josh McCown Signs With Jets

  1. sufferfortribe
    sufferfortribe

    Yep, Jets going to the Super Bowl with this move. Yep!

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    • akaydn

      I think the Jets should go to the Super Bowl every year. Yep, buy those tickets and watch real teams play football, maybe they’ll learn something.

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      • sufferfortribe
        sufferfortribe

        Well, McCown can afford to buy them all tickets, for sure.

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  2. inkstainedscribe

    The music’s about to stop and Cutler has no chair. Does he wind up in Houston? Jax? Minnesota?

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    • sufferfortribe
      sufferfortribe

      He’ll end up dancing a two-step to nowhere with Kaepernick.

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      • browns

        I think Kaepernick ultimately signs as the backup in Buffalo, one year deal, then tries again at FA next season.

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  3. Terry

    I’m sure Jet fans are lining up to get their 2017 tickets.

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  4. mackows2

    whats more surprising?
    McCown getting paid 6+ million or Kellen Moore getting an NFL contract(let alone $755k) and a roster spot on a Super Bowl contender?

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    • I am more surprised that McCown is going to get a chance to start. The 6 Mil i am not surprised by as backups with experience have been around that and Moore coming back to his team is not a surprise as teams usually go for someone they know or project qb for 3rd stringer.

      Bigger surprises to me are Marshal AND Geno to the Giants.

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  5. Jackie

    So glad we got someone who’s going to play ball,leave all the BS off the field and out of the stadium. Let’s go JETS.

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