Jets Quarterback Competition Doesn’t Look Like Much of One

Matthew Jordan

Monday, August 7, 2017 3:25 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 3:25 PM UTC

The New York Jets have perhaps the least attractive quarterback competition in the NFL this decade. But you can bet on the winner of it at Bookmaker, so let’s break it down for all its glory.

Josh McCown vs. Christian Hackenberg vs. Bryce Petty. If that quarterback battle on the New York Jets doesn’t get you completely fired up, then you can’t possibly be a true football fan. OK, I’m kidding. The Jets are a total mess and essentially tanking this season. It’s a good time to tank because the 2018 draft looks loaded at the top with potential franchise quarterbacks in Southern Cal’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

Bookmaker currently lists McCown as the -229 favorite to start Week 1 at Buffalo. The Jets are currently listed at +7 for that divisional showdown. According to reports, McCown has worked exclusively with the starters through the first week or so of training camp while Hackenberg has taken second-team reps. The 38-year-old McCown at least brings experience to the position as he has been in the NFL since 2002. He played pretty well with the Bears in 2013. New Jets QB coach Jeremy Bates was McCown’s QB coach in Chicago 2012 when McCown participated in training camp and was released before re-signing with the Bears during Week 11. The following season, McCown appeared in eight contests and made five starts. During that campaign, McCown threw for 1,829 yards with 13 TDs and 1 INT while posting a career-best 109.0 passer rating.

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Last season, McCown was with Cleveland, playing five games and making three starts. He faced the Jets in Week 8, throwing for 341 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs in a 31-28 loss. This offseason, McCown was given a one-year deal with $6 million guaranteed by the Jets with much more possible in incentives.

Hackenberg, who is +218 to start Week 1, showed huge promise in 2013 when he was a freshman at Penn State under current Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, but Hackenberg regressed his final two seasons after O’Brien left. He was the Jets’ 51st overall pick in 2016 and has yet to take a regular-season snap. Hackenberg’s NFL resume consists of 76 preseason snaps last summer, all of them against backups. From all indications, the Jets are grooming Hackenberg to start the season as the No. 2 quarterback as he’s getting no reps with the starters.

New York opens the preseason Sunday at home vs. Tennessee. McCown should start but the Jets know what he brings. Hackenberg should play quite a bit and then Petty, who is clearly third on the depth chart and a +1603 long shot to start.

The Jets played their annual Green and White scrimmage on Saturday at MetLife Stadium. McCown was 8-for-13 with two touchdowns, one pick returned for a score and two sacks. Hackenberg was 3-for-5 for 45 yards with a touchdown and three sacks. Petty was 4-for-12 for 45 yards.

In my mind, the only way McCown isn’t the Week 1 starter at this point is if he gets injured.

Free NFL Pick: McCown -229Best Line Offered: Bookmaker
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