Josh McCown signs with Jets, could be their starting quarterback in 2017

If there are any New York Jets  fans out there who were hoping that their team would sign Jay Cutler , we have some bad news for you: That option likely went out the window on Monday. 

The Jets did add a quarterback this week, but it wasn’t Cutler, it was Josh McCown , who agreed to a one-year deal after visiting with the team over the weekend. According to, the Jets will be paying McCown a total of $6 million -- all guaranteed -- for the upcoming season. The quarterback can earn a total of $13 million if he hits all of his playing-time incentives.  

The Jets’ financial commitment here suggests that the team probably plans to make McCown the starter for the 2017 season. Although $6 million isn’t a ton of money to pay a quarterback, it is a total that instantly makes McCown the highest-paid quarterback on the team. 

For the 2017 season, McCown will make more than Christian Hackenberg ($661,000) and Bryce Petty ($525,000) combined. 

The addition of the 37-year-old McCown also means that the Jets now have a veteran presence on their roster at the game’s most important position. Petty has only started four career games, while Hackenberg has started zero  because the Jets have been doing everything they possibly can to keep him off the field. 

For Jets fans, going from Ryan Fitzpatrick to McCown probably won’t feel much different. You’ll get the occasional big play, but for the most part, there’s likely going to be a lot of losing. McCown is 2-20 as a starter since 2014. However, the quarterback did put together a pretty impressive stretch during a five-game run with Chicago in 2013. During the streak, McCown threw 13 touchdown passes and just one interception as the Chicago Bears went 3-2. 

The Jets have been in need of a quarterback this offseason after letting Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith walk in free agency. Smith signed with the Giants on Monday, while Fitzpatrick still remains unsigned. 

If there’s one thing McCown will bring to New York, it’s experience: The veteran quarterback is pretty much the definition of a journeyman. 

Since being drafted in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in 2002, McCown has played for the Detroit Lions , Oakland Raiders , Miami Dolphins , Carolina Panthers , Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Cleveland Browns  and now the Jets. 

If you ever need a reminder of all the teams that McCown has played for, just keep a link to this tweet handy. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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