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Don Banks of writes that he expects the Jets to be very much in the running for Bears backup QB Josh McCown in the coming days.

While the Bucs make the most sense as the favorite, both Houston and the Jets are expected to invite McCown for early free-agent visits and stay competitive in the running to land him. The Texans clearly could offer McCown a starting opportunity as a "bridge quarterback,'' allowing them to bypass taking a quarterback at the top of the draft and select a defensive star like South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney or Buffalo's Khalil Mack. Houston would presumably then use its second-round pick -- No. 33 overall -- to take a future franchise quarterback (Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo?), giving him perhaps a season of grooming behind McCown.

From that perspective, both the Bucs and Jets would offer McCown the potential of longer-term starting chances, with neither Glennon or Smith having definitively proven they are clear-cut No. 1 quarterbacks. New York, especially, is in win-now mode, as coach Rex Ryan is again working in the second-to-last year of his contract and probably needs to snap his team's three-year playoff drought in order to return in 2015.

Update - 4:02 p.m.: McCown will visit Tampa, Houston and then the Jets (Rapoport, March 11).

We've discussed before that while we like McCown, the big issue was that until he was flopped into a Marc Trestman offense with Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, Marty Bennett and Forte to throw to, he was a low-level backup.  Now that he's padded those stats in one outlier season, he's seen as a more attractive option.  Even if the Jets go out and draft a first round receiver and add through free agency they won't have an offense in 2014 that could equal what the Bears did in 2013.

We like McCown, but buyer beware.

Tags: NYJets , Brian Bassett
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