Josh McCown Uncertain of NFL Future, Cites 'Family Dynamics'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown works out prior to an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Veteran quarterback Josh McCown is unsure whether he will play in 2019.

McCown released a statement through his agent on Twitter expressing his desire to "take more time" before deciding on his playing future due to "family dynamics."

Mike McCartney @MikeMcCartney7

Update on @JoshMcCown12 https://t.co/Rt2u6YzRRA

The 39-year-old McCown is a free agent after spending last season as the backup to Jets first-round pick Sam Darnold.

With Darnold out due to injury, McCown made three starts for the Jets last season, going 0-3. In four appearances overall, he completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 539 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

McCown was New York's starter in 2018, and he enjoyed arguably his best NFL season. While he went just 5-8 in 13 starts, McCown completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,926 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for five touchdowns.

If nothing else, McCown is an ideal mentor for Darnold given his wealth of experience. The 2002 third-round pick has spent 16 seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Jets.

Last season, Darnold explained the importance of McCown's presence to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini: "My parents know how much he's helped me throughout the whole process. He's been nothing but the best. I tell my parents all the time how awesome it is to have a guy like Josh ... To have Josh here is special for me."

If McCown does not return and re-sign with the Jets, they will be left with only 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb behind Darnold on the depth chart.

Former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor are currently the best options available in free agency. Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins and Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars will also be possibilities if they are released as expected.

Tannehill would be an especially good fit if he can't find a starting job elsewhere since new Jets head coach Adam Gase was his head coach in Miami previously.

Regardless of what the Jets do at quarterback, Darnold is undoubtedly their signal-caller of the present and future, and their biggest key to getting back in contention after eight straight seasons without a playoff berth.