TOJ Roundtable – Starting Quarterback Edition

The TOJ Roundtable discusses who they think the New York Jets starting quarterback will be in 2017 and how long they will hold the job for…

The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below!

Who will be the New York Jets starting quarterback in 2017 and how long will they hold on to the job for? 

Joe CaporosoJosh McCown will start week 1 as neither Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty will perform well enough in the summer to grab the job from him, unfortunately. At some point between week 5-10, McCown will be replaced either due to injury or ineptitude. Hackenberg is going to get his shot and probably start the overwhelming majority, if not all, of the remaining games. Petty has no business being in the mix but after watching three players start and swap all of 2016, it is hard to write off the possibility of seeing him at some point. The Jets will be taking a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Daniel Essien: I think Josh McCown will start week 1. Based on the way Todd Bowles went through the planned rotation last year with Fitzpatrick and Petty, its likely the Jets would have a similar plan for McCown/Petty/Hackenberg this season. I think the Jets will try to keep McCown going as starter until the midway point of the season and then switch to Christian Hackenberg week 9. At that point it will be either 8 straight games of Hackenberg if he performs somewhat well, or 4 games of Hackenberg struggling and then switching to Bryce Petty to close out the last 4 games of the season. It would be great and sensible for the Jets to see as much of Hackenberg or Petty in the regular season as possible but, based on recent financial “organizational decisions,” I can’t see the Jets spending money on McCown and not giving him 6-8 weeks as the starter. At least there won’t be any players clamoring for one quarterback over the other at this point.

Dalbin Osorio  Christian Hackenberg will be the starting QB for the New York Jets, and he will start at least 13 games. I think it’d be a downright travesty if Josh McCown beats him out and, contrary to popular belief, I think they are both starting out on the same foot learning a brand new offense for a coordinator and QB coach that have never worked together before. The offense will take its lumps, but pretending that McCown should be the favorite is preposterous. Hackenberg will develop chemistry with his young WRs especially now that Eric Decker will be traded or released within the next couple of days. It his Hackenberg’s offense and soon will be his team for most, if not all, of 2017.

David AitkenThe Jets will be starting Josh McCown Week 1, the result of a training camp where he is never really threatened as the starter. Hackenberg makes “progress,” but he’s battling Petty to be the next guy up rather than for serious starting action. The plan will be to reassess the situation around midseason, but the plan is likely to go awry as McCown’s injury history will probably put him on the mend earlier than that. The rest of the season will be a mishmash of Hackenberg, Petty and McCown starts as neither Hackenberg nor Petty show they’re ready to be starters.

Jake Benaquisto  After the team parted ways with David Harris and Eric Decker on Tuesday, it’s even more evident that the Jets will be dedicating the upcoming season to developing their younger players. With that being said, I expect Christian Hackenberg to start all 16 games for the Jets in 2017. Unless the former 2nd round pick looks atrocious in training camp and the preseason, giving Josh McCown meaningful snaps would be a waste of time for the QB-needy Jets. They seem to have no problem relying on unproven players at other positions (see WR, TE, ILB, OLB, and S), so to start the season with a 37 year old journeyman at quarterback would be ridiculous. It’s time for Maccagnan and Bowles to see what they have in Hackenberg, and he will need every game he can get. 

Scott Mason I hate to say this, but brace yourselves for the McCown era, Jets fans.  As much as I’d love to believe Christian Hackenberg is going to go from bad college play, bad pre-season play, and virtually no significant practice reps to legitimate starting QB by September, I’d say it is fairly unlikely this happens.  My guess is McCown is the opening day starter and – unless he gets hurt, which is certainly a possibility given his history – keeps the job until the bye week when the Jets are 3-7.  Hopefully I am wrong and Hackenberg makes a huge leap to beat out McCown in camp, but I’m just playing the odds here.  The big hope here is that when Hackenberg gets his shot, he shows enough to make everybody believe in him for the long term, although odds are against that, too.  Most likely the Jets are looking at trading up in the 2018 draft to snag a QB.  If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Bryce Petty, it is because he already proved he can’t be more than a marginal backup at best and will be a non-factor in the competition.  In fact, I’m not even really sure why the Jets didn’t just ditch him and take a flier on somebody like Nathan Peterman or Brad Kaaya late in the draft.

Joe Malfa – Releasing David Harris and Eric Decker on June 6th instead of March 6th (or earlier) was puzzling, but both moves were telling.

Cutting ties with two key veterans shows Jets’ brass slapped the ‘reset’ button and don’t care much about winning football games in 2017.

There are currently just four players over the age of 30 on the roster: Josh McCown, Tanner Purdum, Matt Forte and Steve McClendon.

The sights are clearly set on 2018 and beyond, and there’s only one QB on the roster who can possibly be the guy in 2018 and beyond — Christian Hackenberg.

I don’t see any negatives to starting Hackenberg. Either he has success and becomes a player to build around, or he sinks and puts the Jets in position to potentially draft a franchise QB next spring.

Hackenberg should start all 16 games unless he is injured or simply inept beyond belief.

“The New York Jets have selected Josh McCown as their starting QB this season. But many have doubts of his performance since he started his journey as a quaterback. Many experts are saying that Christian Hackenberg should start out the season, to not affect the morale within the team. He’s still pretty much a rookie and he needs the minutes on the field to get the pace. Right now, the Jets are favorites to win Super Bowl LII at +8000 at our sportbook, so it’s very unlikely they’ll do much this season. But surprises can happen at any time.” says David Strauss, line director at

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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

  • Geronimo

    Here’s a theory:

    If the team observed Hackenberg lighting it up in OTAs, then everyone would be excited, and they would want solid players like Decker around to help the guy out. They would surround their young QB with as much talent as they could, because his play would give them hope.

    OK… So the theory is: That’s not what has been happening.

    So now, back in reality, the team sees that Hack hasn’t made much progress, and he is not actually going to be a serviceable QB this year.. and perhaps he’s got a way to go before ever playing even like a backup NFL QB….

    So now the team sees that their hopes are not going to materialize.

    This is when you press the reset button, and jettison solid players like Harris and Decker. This is when yo throw in the towel and say “OK” let’s get some young WRs and LBs some playing time, and see what they can do.

    This explains why they got rid of these guys late — because they now know, from their few days together, that there’s not much hope for this year.

    Of course, this is something they can never say out loud.


    McCown starts for as long as he can, and the team does OK, struggling to maintain .500 on the back of their defense. This lets Bowles put off starting Hackenberg….

    When the noise gets too loud, Bowles announces Hackenberg will start — somewhere after Mid season.

    Hack gets his chance and he doesn’t play well at all, and it’s a game of musical chairs and nasty press until the end of the season.

    Then they draft a QB, and everyone tries their best to forget about 2017.

  • Andrew Manning

    I think McCown will start the season QB1 but it completely neglects the “blow it up and rebuild through youth” moves from Tuesday. At least game tickets will be cheap this season.

  • CPL593H

    If the unknown at this stage is whether Hackenburg has the stuff to be the QB of the future, what really makes no sense is starting McCown. After all, shouldn’t the Hack Test be the determinant of our future draft direction with respect to QB? If Hack can win games in 2017, we can say “he’s got it” and anyway he will have won enough games to pull us out of contention for the better QBs in the 2018 draft, which is fine because we apparently won’t need one of those anyway. If Hack can’t hack it and we lose left and right, we land squarely in the place where we can draft a better option. He’ll have the pressure on him of basically playing for his football future. What franchise QB doesn’t want that situation? He’ll either flop, or he won’t.

    So starting McCown makes no logical sense, given he’s not our future. I think we all agree, given his abilities he can at best only play well enough to win a sufficient number of games to prevent us from drafting our QB of the future. Lose-lose situation if he plays.