<
>

Jets create odd mix: Youth movement led by 38-year-old quarterback

Each week, we pick a hot-button question for our New York Jets mailbag. This week, it focuses on the quarterback position and rebuilding, which became a huge issue after the release of LB David Harris and the imminent departure of WR Eric Decker.

@RichCimini: I can certainly understand why you'd ask this question, considering the obvious youth movement. I'll break up my answer into two parts: The overall philosophy of the decision and the other candidates who were considered.

The philosophy: First, age isn't a huge deal for quarterbacks. Some of the best in the league are in their mid-to-late 30s, including Tom Brady, who turns 40 in August. Mainly, the Jets wanted a cheap but experienced game manager who won't make a stink when he's inevitably benched for Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty. The Jets also wanted a reasonably competent quarterback, someone who won't bring down everybody around him. If the quarterback struggles, everybody struggles, and that would stunt the development of their many young players.

This limited the Jets' options. They wound up with Josh McCown, who checks all the boxes. He's the quintessential bridge quarterback. In addition, he has experience in a West Coast-style offense and he played under quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. It's not as if the team had a lot of great choices.

The Jets showed early interest in Mike Glennon, but they deemed him too expensive ($18.5 million guaranteed). If they had signed Glennon or any quarterback for that amount, it would've meant a season on the bench for Hackenberg and Petty.

The Jets made a competitive offer to Brian Hoyer, I'm told, but he wanted no part of the Jets; he wanted to reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. They flirted with Jay Cutler but never made an offer. Chances are, he would've been out of their price range anyway. They visited with Chase Daniel, but he's a career backup with limited game experience. Colin Kaepernick? Yeah, right. There's no way owner Woody Johnson, a Republican honcho and potential U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, would've signed off on the polarizing Kaepernick.

The Jets' circuitous search led them to McCown, who turns 38 on July 4. He will be the highest-paid babysitter ($6 million) in the history of mankind.