The New York Jets made a big mistake signing free agent quarterback Josh McCown since his career has been everything but successful.
The New York Jets have been struggling to find the franchise quarterback they aspire for over a decade now. From Vinny Testaverde to Chad Pennington, to Mark Sanchez, the quarterbacks have constantly given Jets’ fans hope only to let them down in the long term. It’s time for the Jets to sign, possibly even draft, a young franchise quarterback who can lead the team for several years.
And what is Josh McCown? A 37-year-old quarterback with no playoff experience who finished top 10 in the league in fumbles for five seasons and has only a 79-69 touchdown-interception rate. Ryan Fitzpatrick was similar in age and with no playoff experience and that led to another two post season-less seasons for the Jets with built-up frustration and hostility among the players and coaching.
With free agency having started over two weeks ago, many of the quarterbacks have signed elsewhere, leaving the Jets with minimal talent left to explore, hence why they signed McCown to a one-year deal. Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer signed in San Francisco immediately after free agency started. Tyrod Taylor re-signed in Buffalo. Mike Glennon signed in Chicago after being one of the Jets’ top targets. Although fans may not like to hear it, it seems like the draft might be another option to consider drafting yet another quarterback. Unless they plan to test Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg out in training camp as starters.
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The Jets are clearly a team looking to re-build for the future, not the present, based on all of their free agent acquisitions. The releasing of Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Breno Giacomini, Nick Folk and Brandon Marshall shows their team is looking to revolve around the younger talent and not the older veterans.
So how and why would McCown fit the mold of the Jets’ plans? McCown will turn 38 during the season, and aside from Tom Brady, most quarterbacks certainly don’t play their best football at that stage of their career, especially given McCown’s statistics through the first 17 years.
Obviously, the Jets’ signing McCown means they wanted a veteran to lead and teach the younger players. But most of the time, these signings backfire on teams in the long term, as history shows. In the NBA, the Nets tried to reel in veterans with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but it cost them tremendously, as they lost picks for several years. In the NHL, the Panthers signed Jaromir Jagr, but that has led to first-round playoff exits or no playoffs at all.
I’m not saying it would be smart for the Jets to draft Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky at No. 6 overall in the draft despite their talent; in fact, this would drive Jets’ fans crazy if they used another first rounder on a quarterback. But I feel as though there were much better options out there as free agents that are younger and have an upside for the future. Not just a one-year rental like McCown.
Examples include Colin Kaepernick, who did lead a Super Bowl run with the 49ers one year and is still young, and Chase Daniel, who is just 30 years old and has not had his real chance at a starter. The Jets now put their hopes that one of their young quarterbacks can rise to the occasion with McCown mentoring them towards success. Sorry Jets fans, don’t expect much of anything out of this team in 2017 since McCown isn’t exactly a Super Bowl-winning quarterback that can get young players around him to become overnight sensations.