After missing out on Kirk Cousins, the New York Jets addressed their gaping hole at quarterback Tuesday by bringing back Josh McCown, his agent announced via Twitter.
— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) March 13, 2018
McCown, 38, signed a one-year, $10 million contract, a source said. He also has been told he will be the starting quarterback in 2018, a source confirmed.
The Jets had always expressed an interest in re-signing McCown as their fallback option — and they may not be finished. They’re also in talks with free agent Teddy Bridgewater, a source said. Nothing that happens in free agency will preclude them from considering a quarterback with the sixth pick in the draft, a source said.
The Jets shifted their attention to McCown once it became apparent that Cousins is planning to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
McCown, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Jets in 2017, easily won the starting job in the preseason and delivered the best statistical year of his long career.
He set career marks for completions (267), yards (2,926) and touchdown passes (18). He also tied for the team lead with five rushing touchdowns. He posted a passer rating higher than 100 in eight games, the second most by a Jets quarterback in a single season.
McCown’s season ended prematurely after suffering a fractured left (non-throwing) hand, which required surgery, in a Week 14 loss to the Denver Broncos. After the game, he choked up at his news conference, knowing his season probably was over. He also hinted to teammates that he might retire, but he came out publicly in January to say he intends to play at least one more season.
Despite the abbreviated campaign, McCown was voted team MVP by his Jets teammates. They went 5-8 with him in the lineup, failing to win a game after his injury.
McCown, who turns 39 on July 4, is the ultimate journeyman, having played for eight different teams since entering the league in 2002. McCown, Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney were the only players from the 2002 draft still playing in 2017.
He is 23-50 as a starter over his career, with 17,168 passing yards, 97 touchdown passes and 78 interceptions.