The Jets are keeping their quarterback options open, and that includes trying to schedule a visit with Jay Cutler, reaching out to Josh McCown and monitoring Chase Daniel’s situation.
Cutler, 33, immediately was linked to the Jets after his release from the Bears last week, and both parties are on the verge of meeting face-to-face. Members of the Jets’ front office are still “keeping tabs” on the 2006 first-round pick and are expected to bring him in for a visit, according to NFL.com.
But while Cutler may be the most talented option on the free-agent market, it remains to be seen if he’ll end up in New Jersey for good.
There are plenty of other quarterback options, but the pickings are slim from a production standpoint — i.e., Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and former Jets starters Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Redskins’ Kirk Cousins and Bengals backup AJ McCarron also could be options via trade.
According to a source, the Jets also have reached out to McCown’s camp. General manager Mike Maccagnan met with McCown during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, and now that the Jets again are in need of a veteran quarterback, they’re circling back to him.
McCown, who will turn 38 in July, was released by the Browns last month after two seasons in Cleveland. He has played for seven teams since the Cardinals made him a third-round pick in 2002. He’s 18-42 in 60 starts after going 1-10 with the Browns during the past two seasons.
But despite those underwhelming numbers, it’s understandable why the Jets would be eyeing him. McCown was in Chicago when new Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates was on the Bears’ coaching staff. Unlike Cutler, McCown is known as a good role model and mentor for young quarterbacks. It’s clear that the Jets are in the market for a bridge quarterback with 2015 fourth-round choice Bryce Petty and 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg as the only quarterbacks under contract.
Don’t be surprised if Daniel, 30, is on the Jets’ radar, too. After the Eagles reached agreement on a two-year deal to reunite with Nick Foles on Monday. Daniel asked to be released, according to a source. Hours later, the Eagles granted his request.
The Jets expressed interest in Daniel last offseason during their months-long standoff with Fitzpatrick. Daniel signed a three-year, $21-million deal with the Eagles, reuniting with his former Chiefs offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson, who was the Eagles’ new head coach.
The downside to Daniel: He has fewer career starts (two) than Petty (four). Daniel made only two appearances last year, completing his only pass attempt for 16 yards. In 10 games, he’s 1-1 as a starter and has completed 51 of 78 passes (65.4 percent) for 480 yards, a touchdown and an interception.