The New York Jets missed out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes but went to Plan B at quarterback and brought back a familiar face. Here are the top five reasons why re-signing quarterback Josh McCown makes sense.
In case you missed it, the New York Jets were able to re-sign quarterback Josh McCown for a one-year/$10 million contract to return next season. After missing out on free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Jets decided to resort to Plan B and double up on quarterbacks to start off free agency.
Besides McCown, the Jets also came to terms with free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. It remains to be seen what will happen in the now crowded situation at quarterback, but the main piece to bring back was indeed McCown.
With his veteran experience, ability to be a leader in the locker room, and the fact that he’s everything you can ask for in a respected athlete, it made sense for the Jets to bring him back. Even though it will just be for one more year, it’s more than enough for McCown to make yet another impact with the Jets and have a hand in making their future franchise quarterback successful.
Here are the top five reasons why re-signing McCown for 2018 makes sense in the grand scheme of things.
5. Mentoring future rookie quarterback
With McCown, Bridgewater, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg all currently signed with the Jets, it’s expected more changes are coming to the most important position on the team. Could the Jets release Petty and/or Hackenberg considering they have McCown returning and Bridgewater now in the mix?
Your guess is as good as mine but it’s also expected the Jets will draft a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s what makes the most sense considering McCown will likely be gone or retire after next season and Bridgewater is a huge question mark. Whether or not he can return to form before his horrific injury a few years ago remains to be seen but he might not be the long-term answer the Jets are looking for at quarterback.
If the Jets do draft another quarterback to develop to be their franchise player under center, McCown will undoubtedly have a hand in developing him towards a successful career. McCown is a great mentor and will teach everyone around him as much as possible while also leading by example.
No matter who the Jets draft, expect to see McCown play a big role in their rookie development. When rebuilding with youth, it’s imperative to have enough mentors around to help them every step of the way until they get the hang of things. At quarterback, it’s a necessity for everything to fall into place.
Next: 4. Familiarity with offensive system
4. Familiarity with offensive system
Last season with the Jets, McCown totaled his best season yet. In 2017, McCown ended with 2,926 passing yards, 267 completions, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Even though the Jets were a bit pass happy last season, McCown made the most with the talent around him on offense.
With new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates being promoted from quarterbacks coach, McCown knows the system very well. Having a veteran quarterback that is familiar with the offensive system is important, regardless if they’re starting or as a backup.
Even though the Jets have said McCown is their starting quarterback heading into next season, anything can change faster than a New York minute. If McCown starts, it’s like putting on a glove again with how well he can execute on offense. If McCown ends up being a backup to Bridgewater or a rookie quarterback next season, he can step in at any time to take care of business in case of an injury or a steep decline in play.
Having a quarterback that knows the system inside and out is always important to have since one never knows when their number is called. If it’s McCown, there is that peace of mind knowing that he knows what to do at any given time.
Next: 3. The perfect bridge quarterback
3. The perfect bridge quarterback
Looking at the contract given to McCown, bringing him back on a simple one-year deal makes a lot of sense for him to develop the next future franchise quarterback of the Jets. Whether it’s Bridgewater or a rookie quarterback, it will be McCown’s last hurrah with the franchise and what a way to leave an impact by helping establish someone else for a successful future.
McCown is the perfect bridge quarterback thanks to his experience and simply being an awesome all-around guy. He’s a leader of men and is proof that with age comes wisdom. Having McCown in a film room, on the field during practice, and everything else in between will be a huge help for either Bridgewater or a future rookie quarterback.
Ideally, it looks like the Jets plan to start McCown next season and see where the chips will fall. If he gets hurt or plays terribly, they’d sit him for either Bridgewater or a rookie quarterback, depending on how the depth chart shapes out by the start of the regular season. If another quarterback beats him out in training camp, then he’d still be able to help on the sideline.
If McCown is on the sideline with a headset and tablet guiding, directing, and training during games that actually matter for either Bridgewater or a rookie, that will help them out tremendously. Even though Bridgewater does have starting experience, he’s been far out of the game for a while now and could need that extra mentoring to return to form. If Bridgewater ends up being the same incredible athlete he was before the injury, McCown would have effectively passed on the torch and continue being there for him every step of the way.
Next: 2. Continuing his best season yet
2. Continuing his best season yet
McCown has earned a new contract with the Jets thanks to everything he brought to the table last season. Believe it or not, McCown was one of the bright spots of the Jets last season in another forgettable 5-11 season.
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One has to give McCown credit for at least keeping the Jets competitive and in a Wild Card playoff hunt towards the end of last season. Things collapsed for the Jets after he suffered a season-ending hand injury but at the end of the day, his leadership, passion to play the best he can for his teammates, and his never-give-up mentality all resonated across the locker room.
It makes sense to bring back McCown to continue exactly where he left off from last season. After all, it was the best season of his 15-year career and he has enough for at least one more season to continue helping the Jets every way he can.
It’s great to have McCown back since hopefully, once free agency and this year’s draft are in the books, he has a better supporting cast to work with. One can only imagine how last season could have been if the Jets had a better offensive line and weapons.
Next: 1. Insurance all season long
1. Insurance all season long
As it’s been evident for a very long time now in the NFL, depth is incredibly important for teams to push the envelope and go the distance. At quarterback, having insurance with someone who knows the system, is respected, and can handle his own on and off the field goes a very long way in building a winner.
The Jets know what they’re getting with McCown as he’ll be a very good insurance policy all season long in the event that he doesn’t end up starting come Week 1. Hopefully, either Bridgewater or a rookie can beat him out in training camp to begin their era on the team which will allow McCown to be in the background helping them out.
If they don’t get the job done consistently or get hurt, McCown is there, ready and waiting. Looking at what happened with the current Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, imagine what would have transpired if they didn’t have a quality backup in Nick Foles to step in for the injured Carson Wentz? Things could have been drastically different and heartbreaking, considering how great Wentz played before his season-ending ACL injury.
Anything can and will happen when it matters most in the league, which is why it’s important to prepare for it. McCown can run the show on offense or sit on the bench and still contribute to a degree. It’s always good to have that quality insurance policy at quarterback all season long in that he can start or sit without causing a distraction in the locker room or to the media.