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Friday, March 7, 2014
Free-agent profile: QB Josh McCown

By Rich Cimini

From now until March 11, the start of the league year, we'll profile potential free agents that figure to be on the New York Jets' radar:

Player: Josh McCown, Chicago Bears

Position: Quarterback

McCown
2013 stats: Started five game for the injured Jay Cutler, compiling a 3-2 record and fueling a quarterback controversy. Finished third in passer rating (109.0), completing 149 of 224 passes (66.5 percent) for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. The 13 touchdown passes exceeded the combined total of his six previous seasons. He played in 421 offensive snaps (40 percent).

2013 salary: $865,000.

Sign him up: McCown, who turns 36 in July, is the quintessential journeyman. He has played for five teams, and it looks like it will be six because his mid-30s renaissance last season probably priced him out of the Bears' budget for a backup. In terms of role acceptance, he would be a good fit for the Jets because he would push Geno Smith in a non-threatening way -- if that is what they're looking for. He would be David Garrard, sans the chronic knee condition. At this point in his career, McCown knows he won't be handed a starting job. He won't come cheaply; quarterbacks of McCown's ilk can cost a team about $4 million for the first year.

Reasons to stay away: His magical, five-game run last season screams "aberration!" McCown was a mediocre quarterback his entire career, finally finding something special under quarterback guru Marc Trestman. It also helped that he had a couple of stud receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery; he wouldn't have that luxury with the Jets, that's for sure. McCown will parlay his right-time, right-place season into a relatively big payday, but it will be hard to duplicate last season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars are possible suitors.