The New York Jets quarterback picture is already set and we’re still in March.
On Tuesday, head coach Todd Bowles announced that veteran passer Josh McCown will be the team’s No. 1 option with newly-acquired Teddy Bridgewater backing him up.
“Josh will go into it as the starter,” Bowles said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “By the end of training camp, we’ll see who the starter is.”
McCown was brought back on a one-year extension by the Jets this offseason after captaining the offense during a surprisingly decent 2017 season.
With a lack of truly headlining offensive weapons, the 38-year-old went 5-8 as a starter, passing for a career-high 2,926 yards with 18 touchdowns while completing 67.3-percent of his passes before a broken hand ended his season early.
It was unclear whether he would be brought back after becoming a free agent as the Jets made their intentions of pursuing free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins known. But when Cousins signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the pieces fell into place.
New York signed Bridgewater to a one-year deal before bringing McCown back.
The former Viking Bridgewater has plenty to prove this season after a dislocated knee and torn ACL derailed his NFL development. After putting up a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015 where he was expected to be Minnesota’s man under center for the foreseeable future, the 25-year-old has attempted just two passes over the last two years.
It is still unclear if he has a clean bill of health, too. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer admitted that Bridgewater still might need some time before he is truly 100-percent, which would eliminate any sort of competition for the starting quarterback job.
“The reports I’d get back from the medical people weren’t as positive as I was about it,” Zimmer said of his time monitoring Bridgewater’s recovery last year in Minnesota, via ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin. “That’s kind of how it came down is that his knee wasn’t as… he still has some recovery to do.”
This kind of uncertainty makes the possibility of the Jets drafting a quarterback with the No. 3 selection even greater now in order to maintain a true back-up behind McCown.