It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?
According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract.
King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014.
"To say that McCown made a positive impact on the Jets in his gap year would be a major understatement," King writes. "He's a selfless coach on the field, and he would love to spend 2018 doing what he tried to do in 2014 in Cleveland, when he was there to usher Johnny Manziel into the ranks of respectable NFL starter. We know what happened then, and it wasn't McCown's fault. Mayfield is a marvelous talent, if a bit of a wild colt. He'd be a great fit with McCown and new and imaginative offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. And McCown can play (combined 90.8 rating over his last three seasons) until Mayfield's ready."
The Jets' locker room attested to McCown's wisdom that he spread on and off the field last season. The team was absolutely devastated when he went down for the rest of the season with an injury. But, if the Jets end up bringing him back, he could be a mentor to a drafted quarterback as Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg would be competing with him -- not trying to teach.
McCown would understand his role with the team at age 39, and it could be a win-win for the Jets on both respects. That is, however, if Cousins signs elsewhere as he looks to be their main priority this offseason.