Josh McCown
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

In a Twitter statement, Josh McCown hinted at a departure from the New York Jets, though he did not mention retirement.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Jets may once again be in the market for a quarterback.

In a statement released on Twitter by agent Mike McCartney, Josh McCown appeared to hint at moving on from the Jets. While the 16-year NFL veteran didn’t mention retirement, it appears he has given the Jets permission to seek out a replacement thrower.

“While I still have a strong desire to continue playing, my family dynamics at this point are such that I would like to take more time before making the commitment to play in 2019,” McCown’s statement, posted on McCartney’s account, reads. “I have spoken to the Jets to make them aware. I’m excited about spending time with my family as we process what’s next.”


McCown, 39, recently concluded his second season with the Jets. He was the team’s primary quarterback during the 2017 season, a career year for the well-traveled veteran. He would post personal bests in several major categories, including passing yards (2,926), touchdowns (18), and completion percentage (67.3).

His true Jets impact, however, may come through his mentorship of franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. The two developed a strong rapport during training camp, and their close relationship carried into the regular season. Darnold frequently mentioned how McCown’s training helped him in his rookie season.

New York Jets

“It’s amazing to watch him go through his daily process and what he does every single day to get ready for the game,” Darnold said in December. “It’s something that observed and it’s just kind of another thing that I admire about Josh is he prepares so hard and I definitely took some notes of what he was doing.”

McCown also started three games during the 2018 season while Darnold nursed an ankle injury.

With the retirement of Julius Peppers, McCown is the lone active holdover from the 2002 NFL Draft. In those selection proceedings, he was chosen in the third-round (81st overall) by the Arizona Cardinals. The Sam Houston State alum has gone on to appear in regular season action for eight different NFL teams. He also had a brief foray into the short-lived United Football League, playing a single season for the Hartford Colonials.

At the end of the Jets’ season, McCown was not yet ready to comment on retirement, first wishing to talk with his family before making a decision.

“(The discussions about the future have) been ongoing. (Me and my family) talk about it all the time,” McCown told ESNY in December. “They’re very supportive of me. My life’s been incredible in this whole ride.”

The Jets now may have a new item on their offseason checklist with McCown’s impending departure. They’re obviously looking to Darnold in terms of a long-term starter, but the depth chart spot behind him is less certain now. Former New York Giants draft pick Davis Webb is under contract for 2019, but the Jets could bring an experienced option to compete with him. Over two seasons, Webb has yet to throw a pass in an NFL regular season game.

A potential free agency option includes Ryan Tannehill, who is expected to be released by the Miami Dolphins. Tannehill was the starter for new Jets head coach Adam Gase when the latter held the same position in Miami. Other notable veteran names available include Robert Griffin III, Brock Osweiler, Tyrod Taylor, and Mike Glennon.

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