The Jets added Josh McCown to their QB depth chart with a one-year deal for $6 million. This marks a turning point in the franchise that they are no longer trying to make the splash signing, but rather make sound football decisions for the sustainable health of the team.
Really? Josh McCown on a one-year deal is that big of a deal? YES!
Mike Maccagnan has invested two draft picks in Bryce Petty & Christian Hackenberg. It is now or never to find out if either can be a long-term quarterback for the Jets. The only way to find that out is to play them.
When was the last time the Jets really tried to develop a QB? Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens… No, it was Chad Pennington. The trio of Smith, Sanchez and Clemens were asked to not rock the boat as the team tried to compete for playoff position. It crushed their ability to learn.
People learn from their mistakes. Smith and Sanchez in particular were almost forbidden from making mistakes as Rex Ryan and his beloved defense demanded that the two not turn the ball over. (There were other factors but this didn’t help)
What does that have to do with McCown? He is not guaranteed the starting job, the same way Jay Cutler or Colin Kaepernick would have been if the Jets had signed them. Given his age and injury history the Jets know he can’t be relied upon for a 16 game season. McCown knows this as well and recognizes he will probably backup a young QB, even though he will try to earn the job.
Former teammate of McCown, Brandon Marshall (who will surgically replace his fingers with microphones one day) spoke highly of the journeyman.
This also follows a philosophy of Bill Parcells, a mentor to Todd Bowles. Parcells at each of his destinations brought players from his previous teams to serve as leaders. McCown formerly worked with QB coach Jeremy Bates. It appears that WR Quinton Patton will soon sign with the Jets (it hasn’t been confirmed as of yet) and he previously worked with OC John Morton.
After spending two days with Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan in New York, it is likely all three parties know what they signed up for. McCown enters camp as competition for Petty and Hackenberg. The Jets hope that one of the two has progressed enough to beat out McCown to earn the starting job.
Should Petty and Hackenberg flop, the Jets are no worse off than they currently are in a season with no expectations. If one of the two develops however, Maccagnan and Bowles will be the smartest men in Florham Park.