But in the meantime, veteran Josh McCown was brought in much like Ryan Fitzpatrick a few seasons ago. Will he be leading the team on opening day?
Opening New York Jets QB odds at BookMaker
Josh McCown -105
Christian Hackenberg +105
Bryce Petty +1800
The Jets showed little confidence in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg by signing veteran McCown during the offseason. It appears as though the plan is to let McCown get the reps while the two youngsters continue to develop. But at some point Todd Bowles will have to give Petty and Hackenberg their shot at claiming the job.
McCown has been a serviceable quarterback throughout his career and had locked down starting jobs in Arizona, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Cleveland before losing it due to injury or the team upgrading at the position through the draft. He is 38-years-old and his better days are behind him, but he will be the bridge until, or if, one of the others is ready to supplant him. McCown has a history of injuries and there’s always the chance of a camp or preseason game accident that could cause this bet to swing in another direction. But McCown is the favorite now at -105 to open as the Jets starter.
That could all change as camp progresses and it’s time Hackenberg shows what he can do. Despite an inconsistent career at Penn State, the Jets used a second-round pick on Hack in 2016. He’s played in the preseason but has yet to take a snap during a regular season game. After a year of holding a clipboard or running the scout team in practice, Hackenberg either has it or he doesn’t.
The Jets need to make a decision on the direction of the position. They’ve had Petty in the system for two years and Hackenberg for one. Petty had a chance last season making four starts at the end of the season and was unspectacular. He did guide the Jets to one of their five victories by throwing for 257 yards in a win over the 49ers, but it was the 49ers, one of a few teams worse than the Jets.
It probably wasn’t fair for Petty to be thrown to the wolves like that. The Jets were already a sinking ship and he never really had a chance. If we base his effectiveness on that small sample, Petty is likely furthest down the depth chart. But for a guy who had a stellar career at Baylor and has a strong throwing arm, he deserves, and will get, his chance in an even competition.
This really is an interesting battle. McCown probably gives the Jets the best chance at winning games, but is that what the franchise wants? The rebuild would be helped by a higher pick in 2018 and wins don’t help to reach that goal. I doubt Bowles will ever say his team is losing on purpose, but he can tell his players to trust the process. There’s a good chance that all three players will see playing time at the start of the season until there is some separation. Of course doing that doesn’t help anyone out. McCown is a one-year project, but he’ll start the opener while Petty and Hackenberg are brought along slowly.
Bet on current QB Match Up odds at BookMaker: Josh McCown -105