New York Jets Sign Josh McCown – The Mentor Bridge Narrative Is Back

Joe Caporoso on the New York Jets signing quarterback Josh McCown

The New York Jets signed quarterback Josh McCown to 1 year, 6 million dollar contract today, running back their 2016 strategy at the position. This strategy concedes their young quarterbacks are likely not ready to play, paying an old, mediocre quarterback for 1 year and pegging him as an ideal mentor and bridge to the future. 

This may end up being an open completion in camp but as of now McCown is the likely favorite to start. He will be 38 years old on opening day, so even if he is out there in week 1, he is unlikely to make it through the entire season at the rate he has sustained injuries in recent years. On the field, McCown is a poor man’s version of Ryan Fitzpatrick, prone to turnovers, erratic, inconsistent and experienced with copious amounts of losing.

It remains baffling why quarterbacks like Fitzpatrick and McCown are considered ideal mentors for young quarterbacks when they are so poor with their fundamentals. They don’t read defenses well, they take unnecessary chances and do not place a premium on protecting the football. By all accounts McCown is a great guy off the field and will be working hard around the facility but the habits he demonstrates on the field are not anything you want Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty picking up. You hire a Quarterbacks Coach to help mentor young players in the film room. Hackenberg and Petty got a year of mentoring under Fitzpatrick. How long does this mentor narrative string along?

McCown has never successfully “mentored” anybody and never been around a winning culture in his career.

The Jets were nearly out of veteran options but you wonder if they could have just signed Chase Daniel to a 1 year, 2-3 million dollar contract and then looked to address the position in the NFL Draft. The Jets could still address the position in April and move on from Bryce Petty (unless they want to go the four quarterback route again…please don’t) but it wouldn’t be shocking if they rolled with McCown, Hackenberg and Petty.

Ultimately, McCown is a bad NFL quarterback no matter how many redundant Fitzpatrick-esque adjectives are thrown at him: heady game-manager, gritty, mentor, student of the game, seen it all, yada, yada, yada…he was arguably the best of bad remaining options but it doesn’t mean the Jets are any closer to rectifying their mess of a quarterback room.

Hopefully, if he starts he can provide some type of stability and/or competency to the extent that it doesn’t hurt the growth of the Jets young receivers or offensive line. Or, hopefully Hackenberg surprises many of us and earns the job this summer. Or, even better than both, the Jets seriously consider a player like Deshaun Watson at #6. 

In other news, the Jets also added wide receiver Quinton Patton, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers. Patton is a depth, possession receiver with a little kick return experience, who is familiar with new Offensive Coordinator John Morton. He will battle with Charone Peake and Devin Smith for playing time behind Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson.

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports