NFL latest news: Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg jockey for Jets starting quarterback position

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Todd Bowles and the New York Jets.
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Reuters/ Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have not yet decided on their starting quarterback this coming NFL season, something that should be known after training camp. There are three names jockeying for the role: Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Head coach Todd Bowles and Offensive Coordinator John Morton believe that this should be an opportune time for McCown, Petty and Hackenberg to show their stuff. All three have already shown what they can do, but Bowles and Morton have opted to keep their choices open. 

Of the three, veteran McCown is a favourite to land the role though his age could factor in. He will turn 38 this July and spend the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was signed to a one-year US$6 million (AU$8 million) deal, a move seen by critics as two-way. Aside from potentially calling the plays, McCown could end up playing mentor to his younger stalwarts. 

If age is a concern, then Petty and Hackenberg could take the lead. The only problem with the younger candidates is that both have questionable past seasons. 

Petty didn’t see the field in 2015 and struggled last season. Worst of all, he got hurt, making the coming season a redeem year for the 25-year-old Baylor University alumnus. 

At best, critics see him at backup though Petty is not ready to concede, ESPN reports. In fact, he believes he can win the starting job until a decision has been made by Bowles and Morton.

"For me, it's not could," he said. "It's can. That's important."
 
Hackenberg is also entering the season with something to prove. He was drafted last year but never saw action on the football field. He was considered more of a project player, but the 22-year-old can prove critics wrong by impressing and getting the starting quarterback nod. 

It may take more than what McCown, Petty or Hackenberg can do in training camp to gain the starting quarterback role. Based on the early assessments by Bowles and Morton, no one has a clear advantage. 

McCown could be the safest choice, but such may affect the long-term outlook of the Jets. If so, Petty and Hackenberg may need to take their game up a notch and prove they deserve the starting role. The situation carries a lot of loose ends, though Bowles and Morton are hoping that friendly competition among the three can produce something positive.