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All Options on Table for Jets at Quarterback

After McCown’s Career Year, Jets Face a Critical Spring


On the Active Roster in 2017 (GP/GS, Offensive Snaps)
Josh McCown (13/13, 819), Bryce Petty (4/3, 217), Christian Hackenberg (0/0, 0).

Potential Free Agents in 2018
Josh McCown

Reserve/Future Signing
Joel Stave

Last Season in Review 
After taking the majority of first-team reps in the spring and early in training camp, Josh McCown was officially named the Jets' starting quarterback in late August. Head coach Todd Bowles said McCown gave the Green & White their best chance to win and cited his grasp of the offense.

Reunited with Jeremy Bates, McCown played the best football of his career. The 38-year-old passer, in his 15th season and with his 10th team, set personal highs with 2,926 yards and 18 touchdowns. Starting 13 games, McCown completed 67.3% of his passes and also rushed for a career-high five scores. Despite landing on the injured reserve after breaking his hand in Denver on Dec. 10, McCown became the sixth different QB to win the Curtis Martin Jets Team MVP.

Backup Bryce Petty, in his third season out of Baylor, appeared in four games and started the season's final three contests. He experienced ups and downs as the offense never found its mojo down the stretch with Petty completing just 49.1% of his passed with one touchdowns and three interceptions. Christian Hackenberg, a second-round pick out of Penn State in 2016, spent most of his second season as the third quarterback after playing in all four preseason games.

Looking Ahead
McCown recently told various media outlets that he would like to play another season and the free agent would like to build on some things with the Jets. At his season-ending news conference, general manager Mike Maccagnan kept the door open about a possible re-signing.

"Based on what Josh has done, I would have no problem bringing him back," Maccagnan said. "But of course that is another thing that is going to play itself out here over time. He is a free agent, he obviously has to make the determination from his end with his family (on) what he wants to do, but everything from our standpoint has been exceptionally positive with Josh."

While the Jets hold the No. 6 overall selection in April's Draft, the NFL's League Year will start on March 14th as new contracts can be signed and the trading period will begin.

"There's obviously some potential players that are going to be in that market," Maccagnan said. "If we think there's a way to improve the talent on this team through pro free agency and/or through the college draft, we wouldn't rule anything out, quite frankly. I think all options are going to be on the table, and I think we're going to go through that process and not only vet that but see how the market bears in terms of how we can improve this team."

Links to our previous position review/previews:

One veteran quarterback who already has found a new home is Alex Smith. The Washington Redskins elected to move away from Kirk Cousins, agreeing on terms to acquire Smith from the Chiefs in exchange for a third-round pick and ascending cornerback Kendall Fuller. Kansas City will turn to Patrick Mahomes, a first-round pick in 2017 who possesses a cannon for an arm, and Cousins is expected to have several suitors in free agency.

Washington could still elect to tag Cousins, who has passed for 4,000 yards in each of the past three seasons, and attempt to receive compensation in return for his departure. The Vikings have decisions to make on their trio of Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Sam Bradford trio. Keenum and Bradford have expiring contracts and Bridgewater is still only 25 after basically missing the last two seasons with a severe knee injury. There has been much speculation about the future about Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo. Drew Brees has no plans on leaving New Orleans and the 49ers are expected to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal or franchise the former Tom Brady backup.

Then after the QB dominoes fall in March, the top of Draft is expected to be dominated by the signal callers. If the Jets stay at No. 6 overall, how many quarterbacks will be off the board? While Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming) and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) have garnered most of the attention of late, former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson (Louisville) is a unique athletic talent. Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) is large in stature and can make all the throws.

In addition to the sixth overall pick, the Jets own a pair of second round selections — No. 37 and No. 49. As Maccagnan said, all options are on the table.


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