Free agency hasn’t even officially started yet, but the Jets are already off to a slow start. Having the most cap space in the league wasn’t enough for the Jets to land Kirk Cousins so they settled for bringing back the 38-year-old Josh McCown on a one-year $10 million deal.
Cousins was Plan A for the Jets, then after Cousins chose the Vikings the rumors started flying that the Jets would sign Teddy Bridgewater but for now they have settled on bringing back McCown. This would seem to take them out of the running to sign Bridgewater but it’s entirely possible that they still decide to roll the dice on Bridgewater as the bridge with McCown as an insurance bridge in case Bridgewater’s knees don’t hold up or he simply doesn’t play well.
McCown had a career year last season and was absolutely beloved in the locker room, everyone in that locker room respects McCown as a player and a person but it’s really hard to not look at this decision to bring McCown back as a repeat of re-signing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Quarterbacks don’t suddenly turn into different quarterbacks at 38-years-old so if McCown plays a meaningful stretch of games you can expect a regression back to the mean.
The truth is, after they missed out on Cousins it really doesn’t matter what the Jets didn’t at quarterback in free agency, what will matter is how they address the position in the draft. Sign Bridgewater or not, the Jets absolutely must draft a quarterback in the first-round this year and they’ll more than likely need to beat the Bills to the punch by trading up to do so to ensure they can get the guy they want the most.
If McCown is starting a game or two at the beginning of the season as they slowly bring along their rookie quarterback, then cool. No worries, but if McCown is the starter because he’s all they have then Mike Maccagnan might as well start updating his resume.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com. He can be reached via Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)