When the New York Jets signed Josh McCown on March 20, he became the latest in the Jets longtime search for a QB to lead this franchise.

Everyone knows the story of Joe Namath and the Jets beating the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. That one game changed Pro Football history and gave the AFL legitimacy leading into the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. That win made Namath a legend and was the main reason he wound up being voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1985.

The history of the Jets QB position is one of total frustration for Jets fans. The fact that Namath is viewed as the best QB to ever play for the franchise speaks to how poorly the others that have stood behind center have performed. For his career with the Jets, Namath finished one game under .500 (60-61-4) while throwing 45 more INT than TD in his 12-year career. Super Bowl III was his second and last playoff win.

Looking at the rest of Jets history at QB, McCown doesn’t have much to live up to. Only three QB in their 57-year history have started more than 70 games (Namath, Ken O’Brien and Richard Todd) and none of them had a winning record. Of the other seven teams that started the AFL with the Jets (then called the Titans), all of them have at least two QB that have a record over .500 with at least 70 starts.

AFL Teams - Starting QB over .500 with 70 career starts

Raiders 5
These are the original AFL teams that started with the Titans/Jets in 1960


The Jets are not looking at McCown as the answer to their future. After being drafted in the NFL in 2002 by the Arizona Cardinals, the Jets are the eighth team that McCown will suit up for. Since 2014, despite throwing five more TD passes than INT, he has made 22 starts and lost 20 of them.

However poor his starting record has been in the last few years, McCown can still play a huge role in the development of 2015 second round pick Christian Hackenberg. The Jets are counting on Hackenberg to develop into the franchise QB that they have been waiting for. After struggling with his accuracy in preseason and practice last season, Hackenberg has impressed the new Jets starting QB in minicamp.

Jets fans are waiting for their franchise QB to come along. Perhaps McCown can play a big part in that happening.

Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports.  Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.


2-time Emmy Winner, Mark Kelly, formerly of ESPN. Cancer Survivor. Podcasts spread awareness & hope for those suffering from effects of chemo and radiation.