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2012 NFL Free Agency: Luke McCown

Over the course of the next few weeks I'm going to look at the Jaguars with contracts expiring at the end of the 2011 league year in March.

On September 5, 2009 the Jaguars traded a 7th round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to acquire quarterback Luke McCown. Prior to that he was acquired by the Buccaneers via trade during the 2005 NFL Draft in exchange for a 6th round pick. This year has the potential to be the first year that Luke McCown becomes a free agent in his underwhelming eight years in the NFL.

McCown was named the starter for the Jaguars following the release of David Garrard based on McCown's strong showing in training camp and preseason. The team's decision was seemingly validated by a relatively mistake-free game against the Titans in which he posted a 91.5 quarterback rating and did just enough to earn a victory. However, in the following week he posted the worst rating in franchise history (1.8) and was quickly yanked in favor of rookie Blaine Gabbert.

There is no doubt that the Jaguars will have Blaine Gabbert return as their starter in 2012 so stamp that thought out of your mind if you think otherwise, but the Jaguars may use this offseason to upgrade the backup quarterback position. If Gabbert were to get injured, McCown hasn't exactly definitively proven that he has what it takes to start in his place.

Alternatively, McCown is close to exactly what you want from a backup quarterback on a team with a young quarterback at the helm. He is smart, mature, cheap and will only help Gabbert along as the Jaguars attempt to mold the young player into the quarterback they intend for him to become.

The Jaguars are not going to hit the free agent market and look to bring in a high-profile player like Matt Flynn to be their new backup quarterback because Gabbert is absolutely their starter and Flynn would never sign with a team that intends for him to be a backup. The team might be hard-pressed to find a player that would be a better fit in the backup role than McCown.