March 19, 2017
New York Jets Rumors: Josh McCown Contract Close, Jets Pass On Jay Cutler?

New York Jets rumors suggest a Josh McCown meeting has gone very well for the team. A McCown contract may be close with the Jets, making him the starting quarterback for the 2017 NFL season. While he doesn't come with the fanfare of other quarterbacks who have been mentioned in New York Jets news articles this offseason, he is likely more affordable as well. Signing McCown would mean passing on other veteran quarterbacks that include Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers.

A report by NFL analyst Ian Rapoport stated that McCown was going to meet with the Jets this weekend, but also that the Cowboys had interest. It would later be followed up with posts about contract negotiations taking place between the Jets and McCown's agent. This could mean that a deal is already in place, as some of the news came out late on Saturday evening (March 18). It shouldn't surprise fans at all if there is an announcement on Sunday (March 19) from the front office that they have a new starting quarterback in the Big Apple.

There have been plenty of New York Jets rumors this month to keep fans excited about the 2017 NFL season. That includes the Jets signing former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne to a one-year, $5 million contract. Additional New York Jets news has included the team offering Pro Bowl linebacker Dont'a Hightower a free agent deal. A report by ESPN stated that the Jets offered the New England Patriots defender a five-year, $55 million contract, only to withdraw the offer after Hightower took a physical. He would then end up re-signing with the Patriots.

Josh McCown Runs For Touchdown With Cleveland Browns
[Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]

Josh McCown rumors suggest that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in signing him as a backup quarterback to Dak Prescott. This would only be necessary if the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones finally trade or cut Tony Romo. Romo is still under contract with the Cowboys, taking up salary cap space that the team would need to put together a McCown contract. If McCown wants to be a starting quarterback again, though, it is very unlikely that he would want to sign on with the Cowboys, even if the team offered him more money than the Jets have placed on the table.

Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are the only other quarterback options left on the New York Jets' roster. That could certainly change during the 2017 NFL Draft, but there aren't a lot of game-changing players projected to come out of college football this year. With the number of holes that the Jets' roster has, selecting a QB with that first-round pick could also be seen as a huge mistake. That leaves the Jets' draft strategy revolving around selecting a quarterback a bit later and having him work behind a veteran starter. Could McCown be that veteran?

Josh McCown's stats come from a 14-year NFL career that has seen him make stops in quite a few different cities. McCown has played for the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, and Arizona Cardinals. Over that time, McCown has made 60 starts for some pretty terrible teams, posting a career record of just 18-42. McCown has had some good stretches, including a 93.3 quarterback rating during 13 games with the Browns in 2015.

Josh McCown At Quarterback For Cleveland Browns
[Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]

There are certainly a lot of New York Jets rumors that have been more exciting than signing McCown this offseason. The prior Jets trade rumors with the Dallas Cowboys are likely at the top of that list, as Tony Romo could be a great veteran option for a number of franchises that need a big improvement at the quarterback position. Romo's contract makes him a tough sell for the Cowboys, likely also making him too expensive as an option for the Jets. If Jerry Jones finally cuts Romo, that situation could get explored further, as he would become an unrestricted free agent.

When it comes to the Jets' salary cap space, the team does still have some money to spend in free agency. The most recent salary cap estimate puts the Jets at around $21 million under the maximum for the 2017 NFL season. That would make a Josh McCown contract very affordable for the team, especially if it is a one-year deal without any long-term commitments. Signing McCown would let the team focus on other endeavors and allow fans to start thinking more about New York Jets rumors that involve the upcoming NFL Draft.

[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]