The Jets "badly" want expected free-agent-to-be Kirk Cousins, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, who writes that "sources say they're willing to pay whatever it takes -- unless the Washington Redskins decide to tag him for a third time (unlikely)."
The other quarterbacks on the Jets' roster are Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg and Joel Stave.
McCown last season galvanized a ragtag group on offense that provided some entertaining moments, especially at MetLife Stadium. But the Jets still lost nine of their last 11 -- finishing 5-11 for the season -- and the wheels completely fell off when McCown broke his hand in Week 14 in Denver and was replaced by Petty.
McCown set career highs in passing yards (2,926) and passing touchdowns (18), and had the 11th best passer rating in the league (94.5).
Cousins threw for 4,093 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season. The Redskins, who recently traded for quarterback Alex Smith, could put a franchise tag on Cousins for next year at $35.4 million to prevent him from becoming a free agent.
Acquiring Cousins, 29, would put a long-term plan at quarterback in place for the Jets, who otherwise could decide on less-splashy options, such as bringing back McCown or adding another veteran as a bridge while selecting a quarterback high in the draft. The Jets have the No. 6 overall pick.