The New York Daily News reports the Jets are “eying” Bears QB Josh McCown in free agency to provide a “viable alternative” to incumbent starter Geno Smith.
While Gang Green is “cautiously optimistic” that Smith, coming off a largely uneven rookie campaign, will “make strides” in year two, they’re preparing a contingency plan in the event he regresses. Mark Sanchez is not in the team’s future plans, and is expected to be released.
The Jets believe the 34-year-old McCown would make a “quality backup,” but he proved last season that he could be much more. Starting five games for the injured Jay Cutler, McCown went 3-2, with 13 touchdowns passes, only one interception, and a sparkling 109.0 passer rating.
In a sense, McCown is the antithesis of Smith, who committed 25 turnovers in 2013, some of which would make Sanchez blush. The Jets will give Smith every opportunity to succeed — especially with an upgraded supporting cast — but won’t hesitate to “pull the plug” on him, either.
With Rex Ryan likely coaching for his job (again) next season, the club needs stability at the most important position. McCown would be an excellent pickup for the Jets, who will have to outbid many other suitors for his services.