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Former Jets QB Josh McCown unretires to back up Eagles' Carson Wentz

Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back during pregame

Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back during pregame warmups at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 23, 2018. Credit: Daniel De Mato

Josh McCown isn’t quite through as an NFL quarterback.

Just two months after the 40-year-old former Jet announced his retirement and joined ESPN as a studio analyst, the injury-plagued Eagles announced on Saturday that he has agreed to a contract. ESPN reported that McCown agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $5.4 million, with $2 million guaranteed, to join his 11th NFL franchise.

Carson Wentz, who dealt with injuries the previous two seasons, is entrenched as the Eagles’ starter, but the team lost backups Cody Kessler (head injury) and Nate Sudfeld (broken bone in his left wrist) in the first two preseason games.

McCown spent the previous two seasons with the Jets, going 5-8-0 as a starter in 2017 while throwing for 2,926 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ceded the starter’s job to Sam Darnold last year but started and lost three games after the rookie suffered a foot injury.

The Jets, knowing that McCown was contemplating retirement, signed former Broncos starter Trevor Siemian to serve as Darnold’s backup this season. They also have Davis Webb and Luke Falk on the roster, at least for now.

McCown announced his retirement via a first-person article in The Players’ Tribune on June 17.

The Eagles hope Wentz can start 16 games for the first time since his rookie season in 2016, but McCown, one of seven players in NFL history to attempt a pass for seven different teams, provides reliable insurance.

The Eagles host the Ravens in their third preseason game on Thursday, then face the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 29, meaning McCown could see plenty of time against his former team in the preseason finale.


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