There’s no doubt that QB Josh McCown had a very good season, at least to his standards in 2017. Some will argue that McCown was not the problem for the Jets in 2017, while this may be true, he certainly was not the solution. While posting career highs in completion percentage, yards, passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns, Jets brass should not be fooled into bringing the soon to be 39-year-old back for an encore in 2018. Here are 5 reasons why the Jets should steer clear of the veteran signal-caller.
Fool Me Once…
Most Jets fans have a short-term memory when it comes to QB play. The team has clearly been starved of quality production from the position for what seems like ages. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had arguably his best season in 2015 throwing for 3905 yards and 31 touchdowns. The following season Fitzpatrick was rewarded with a 1 year $12 million contract and fell flat on his face with a 12:17 TD to INT ratio. He was awful, the offense was a mess, and the two parted ways after the season. McCown’s 2017 contract was for 1 year $6 million and that figure only expects to increase after his solid season. McCown may not suffer the same fate as Fitzpatrick, but given his track record, there is a good chance that he does. Bottom line; don’t make the same mistake twice by overpaying for a journeyman QB in the twilight of his career coming off his best season.
Average QB at Best
If the Jets and their fans want to suffer another season of mediocrity then McCown is their guy. Although he kept the team competitive, he struggled mightily late in games when he seemed to be at his worst, turning the ball over 7 times in the 4th Quarter. The team finished 5-8 in 2017 in games that McCown started. In fact, the only year that a team had a winning record in games that he started was in 2013 when Chicago went 3-2. A lot of fans will make the argument that McCown completed 67.3% of his passes in 2017 and that he was not the reason that the Jets lost so many games. There may be some truth behind that because as we know the numbers don’t lie, but completion percentage is a glorified statistic anyway. McCown did connect on some deep passes, but mainly threw for a few yards at a time or would check down to a running back. A dink-and-dunk Offense will pad any QBs stats, but let’s be honest, it won’t win many football games.
The Mentor Aspect is Overrated
It’s been stated over and over again that McCown is a great mentor to young Quarterbacks, but who exactly has blossomed under his “guidance”? Cody Kessler? Kevin Hogan? Johnny Manziel? Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a veteran QB on board to help younger players learn the ropes of the NFL, but to say that he’s a “great mentor” seems a bit excessive. It was reported by Tom Rock of Newsday, that QB Baker Mayfield said, “sitting behind Eli (Manning) would be a great situation.” Notice how players of Eli’s ilk are mentioned, but it’s not often that you hear it said that learning from Josh McCown would be great. If the Jets truly want McCown on the team for mentor purposes they should bring him on as a Coach/Adviser so they can use their salary cap space elsewhere.
Some see McCown as the perfect “bridge QB” should the Jets select a young signal-caller in the 2018 draft. Could they do worse than McCown? Sure they can, but they almost certainly can do better. It would be interesting to see the team bring in a younger, talented QB. For example, Teddy Bridgewater who has something to prove after a devastating injury, Case Keenum, or even Tyrod Taylor, should any of them be made available. Not to say that any of those names mentioned are going to be Aaron Rodgers. However, it would make sense for the team to bring in a relatively cheap, higher upside QB to compete with a rookie QB rather than handing the starting job to the older, injury-prone Josh McCown.
Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes
The simplest answer to Josh McCown not returning to the Jets? Sign Kirk Cousins. Many fans seem to be on the fence on if they actually want Cousins on the team in 2018 or not. There’s a legitimate case to be made there, but how often does a QB of his caliber hit free agency? Cousins isn’t the best QB in the NFL even though he will almost certainly be paid like it, but he’s arguably among the top 12 in the league at the position. If the Jets sign Cousins there’s no need for a bridge QB like McCown since they’ll have their starting QB on the roster locked up for the next several years.
All that being said, with the Jets being the Jets, it would not be surprising if McCown is on the roster when the 2018 season begins. This especially bodes true if they acquire a Quarterback in April’s draft. The Jets and the NFL world will be waiting on you Kirk…
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