The New York Jets made their first signing of the offseason by bringing back veteran quarterback Josh McCown for one more season. While it may not have been the flashiest move, it may have been the right decision.
Kirk Cousins was Plan A. This was Plan B.
While Jets fans may not have wanted to admit it, a reunion between the two sides always seemed likely. Cousins may have been the team’s top option, but McCown consistently lurked in the background as a cheaper, albeit less exciting alternative.
Of course, this plan doesn’t come without a supplement. McCown isn’t any sort of long-term fix at the quarterback position. The Jets backup plan has always been to re-sign McCown and use him in a quintessential mentor role to a QB prospect targeted in the draft. Although the Teddy Bridgewater signing now leaves plans a bit murkier, the initial idea is still there.
The price tag was an adequate $10 million for just one season. This dollar amount nearly doubles his salary from last season but still puts him well below the average cost of a starting quarterback in the NFL.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 13, 2018
Josh McCown handed the ball to Emmitt on his final TD
He threw the ball to @LarryFitzgerald on his first TD
Amazing career. Played good ball last year.
Love that the Jets are keeping him. And if a young QB comes in, there’s not a better mentor in the league. pic.twitter.com/lw7T5q7xUX
— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) March 13, 2018
McCown is well-respected by his teammates and beloved by the entire Jets organization, if not the whole league, so his signing makes total sense. There will likely be groans from the fanbase but this move isn’t one that could be judged immediately.
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It’s clear that there’s a vision here. Despite reports that the team has already declared him the starter, at least for training camp, it is unlikely the Jets brought McCown back to be the unquestioned starting quarterback.
Is it disappointing to lose out on Cousins? Absolutely. But the Jets “fallback option” could prove more beneficial in the long run.
Ultimately, this signing is part of a two-step plan. Step one has been completed with the signing of McCown. Step two will commence on April 26th when the Jets will look to come away from the draft with a young, capable quarterback prospect for McCown and new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to mold into a franchise player.
Until then, the extent of this signing cannot be fully evaluated. At the very least, the Jets have brought back a high-character leader who is a valuable asset to any locker room he is a part of.