In theory, it may have made more sense for Josh McCown to serve as the backup to Dak Prescott in Dallas instead of becoming the Week One starter on a weak roster that is too deep into a rebuild for a 37-year-old quarterback to realize any sigificant benefits. But theory doesn’t further feather the nest.
McCown will make at least $6 million guaranteed in 2017 with the Jets, an amount that is surely much larger than what the Cowboys would have paid. (It also matches the amount the Browns were due to pay McCown this year.) McCown also can make an extra $2 million based on playing time, and another $5 million based on team accomplishments.
PFT confirmed that McCown will make $125,000 for each game in which he takes more than 50 percent of the snaps. He can also make an extra $2 million if the Jets qualify for the playoffs, another $1.5 million if the Jets make it to Super Bowl LII, and another $1.5 million if they win it. (He has 65-percent cumulative playing-time triggers that apply to each of the postseason incentives.)
In other words, McCown can make another $2 million based on playing time.
It’s still a great deal for McCown, who instantly ocuppies the top spot of the depth chart, and who can add $125,000 for each game that he holds that spot.
In contrast, the Cowboys are paying Kellen Moore $775,000 for the full season.
It’s also a pretty good deal for the Jets, given that they paid twice as much last year for a starter who did half of what he did the prior year. And it means that, barring a serious injury to McCown during the offseason program or trianing camp, they won’t be pursuing Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, or any other veteran quarterback who would cost more than the league minimum.