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Cardinals Potential Free Agent Target: Josh McCown

Could McCown return to the desert?

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at New York Jets Northjersey.com/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Arizona Cardinals currently have around $22 million in cap space after Carson Palmer’s retirement.

Although the team is expected to be interested in Kirk Cousins and Sam Bradford, they will face heavy competition for their services from other quarterback-needy teams such as the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos.

Keep in mind that Kirk Cousins will command a long-term and expensive contract similar to that of Jimmy Garrappolo’s record-breaking deal.

Signing Cousins to a deal like Garrappolo’s would strip the Cardinals of most of their cap space, leaving the team with minimal finances to improve other positions.

Could Josh McCown be an option for the Arizona Cardinals?

His cap number was only $6.5 million in 2017 and it should not be much different in 2018.

Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was Josh McCown’s quarterback coach when they were with the Carolina Panthers in the 2008 season.

McCown was selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. The 38-year-old quarterback has accomplished a lot as both a starter and a backup in this league, throwing for over 17,000 passing yards and 97 touchdown passes in his 15-year career.

He is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, setting career highs in completion percentage (67.3), passing yards (2,926), touchdown passes (18), and touchdown rushes (5) with the New York Jets.

In addition to his career year, he was one of the more accurate quarterbacks in 2017 in throws for 20 yards or more beyond the line of scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus McCown had an adjusted deep-ball completion percentage of 46.7, ranking third behind Alex Smith and Drew Brees.

He did suffer a broken-hand injury in week 13 that ended in 2017 season. There were speculations that he would retire but he stated that he will return for another season. Though his dominant hand wasn’t injured, the question still remains on how much he has left to offer to NFL teams.

Can he replicate the success he had in the 2017?

McCown would be a viable and affordable quarterback for one season, as the Cardinals are expected to draft a quarterback of the future in the early rounds of the 2018 draft.

He would make a great and valuable mentor to have, as the team prepares for success now and for the long-term future.