New York Jets AJ McCarron
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

There’s a new name at the quarterback position that could make sense for the New York Jets in 2018, AJ McCarron.

Parents always ask their kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Regardless of the child’s answer, the immediate follow-up response is, “You better have a backup plan.” I reiterate this same message to the New York Jets. Everyone’s sights are understandably on Kirk Cousins. It makes sense.

The Jets have a bunch of money, Cousins wants to be the highest paid player in NFL History, and the Jets have a need at quarterback, Cousins is a quarterback. A match made in heaven right?

Well, this isn’t Madden folks. Strange things happen all the time and there are several teams that will be bidding for his services. So if the Jets miss out on Cousins, then what?

The NFL Draft is certainly an option which will be a month plus after free agency kicks off, but the Jets would likely prefer to solve their problem before that. Enter AJ McCarron into the conversation.

Could the Jets backup plan include former backup quarterback AJ McCarron? It’s a possibility thanks to McCarron winning his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals which ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting.

There was a strong chance that McCarron would lose that battle and become a restricted free agent instead which obviously would’ve seriously limited his possible market as it pertains to the rest of the National Football League.

I know the Jets just got their allowance and the money is burning a hole in their pocket. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said it earlier this offseason, “I think we are going to be very active in free agency,” via Jets Team Reporter Eric Allen.

Sure you want to spend that money, who wouldn’t, but don’t blow it carelessly, spend it wisely. Like on a prospect like McCarron. He obviously has a very limited resume in his three years in the league:

  • 64 percent completion percentage
  • 920 passing yards
  • Six touchdowns to just two interceptions
  • He’s played in 11 games and started three of them

New York Jets

Heck compared to Mike Glennon (18 starts), Brock Osweiler (seven starts), and Jimmy Garoppolo (seven starts) maybe AJ is in line for a huge payday too. All sarcasm aside, you can get McCarron at a lower rate.

This could be the steal of the free agency period at the game’s most important position. He comes from that Alabama system that hasn’t produced a great quarterback since ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath.

McCarron has underrated athleticism and the size is what you look for at the position (6-foot-3, 220 pounds). But let’s make sure we’re on the same page, if the Jets bring in AJ it’s not for what he has done, that’s not what NFL teams pay for. Sometimes you pay for what a player can potentially do in the future, not what he has already accomplished in the past.

McCarron is essentially an experienced rookie. He had success at Alabama with one of the greatest college football coaches of all-time in Nick Saban. AJ sat behind Andy Dalton for years with minimal opportunities and showed signs when he was in. Depending on price I would 100 percent throw my name in the ring if I’m the Jets. What do you have to lose? He certainly wouldn’t be a priority signing by any means, but if Kirk Cousins is scooped up by someone else, don’t be surprised if McCarron is getting out of a limo on 1 Jets Drive in Florham Park later this March.

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