The Jets will have five quarterbacks under contract after the official signings of Josh McCown and Terry Bridgewater, and that number could increase. Here’s a breakdown of the team’s quarterback situation:
He won the starting job last season and went on to tie a career-mark with 13 starts. There was constant speculation that he would be replaced, but it never happened. A broken left hand finished his season with three games remaining. McCown, 38, thought his career might be over after he suffered that injury in Denver, but his family encouraged him to keep playing. He’s back now as the starter unless somebody can beat him out.
The Vikings’ 2014 first-round pick has potential given his age (25), but he hasn’t played in almost two years after a severe knee injury suffered in a non-contact drill in training camp. Bridgewater has a better chance to beat out McCown in training camp than last year’s candidates (Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty). Bridgewater is mobile, has a strong arm and provided good leadership for the Vikings. The biggest question mark for Bridgewater after his 28 NFL starts is that he has more games with fewer than 200 passing yards (13) than 300-yard games (five) in his career. If Bridgewater is going to become a No. 1 starter again, he’s got to produce big numbers on a consistent basis.
The Jets gave him every chance to take over the No. 1 job from McCown last year and he couldn’t do it. Then-Jets offensive coordinator John Morton got conservative with Petty during certain stretches of his three-game stint late in the year. Petty does have a strong arm and the temperament to be a starter, but his inaccuracy, 53.1 percent, hurts him. Petty could be the odd man out because the Jets probably have a good idea of what he is.
The former second-round pick hasn’t played in a regular season game and with the additions of McCown and Bridgewater, he might not ever get that chance with the Jets. Todd Bowles said Hackenberg needs to improve on some areas of his game and expects to see that in training camp. But in reality, what’s the point? The Jets should either look to trade Hackenberg or release him to give him another opportunity with someone else.
He signed a reserve/futures contract when the 2017 season ended. He’s been on the practice squad of four NFL teams since he entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings in 2016. Stave hasn’t played in a NFL regular season game and is more of a project. At 6-4 and 230 pounds he spent four seasons at Wisconsin, where he threw for 7,635 yards with 48 touchdowns and 37 interceptions.
Potential draft pick
This is how Hackenberg and Petty get pushed out. With the No. 6 overall pick of the draft, the Jets could select a quarterback or possibly move up to grab one. There are four QBs projected to go in the Top 10 — Josh Rosen (UCLA), Sam Darnold (USC), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Josh Allen (Wyoming). The Jets have two quarterbacks on one-year deals (McCown and Bridgewater), so the Jets’ next franchise quarterback is probably still getting ready for his Pro Day.