Jets QB McCown tabbed as starter heading into training camp

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) attempts to pass during minicamp on Tuesday.Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

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Veteran Josh McCown will enter training camp as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets.

New York head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday on the last day at the team’s mandatory minicamp that McCown will enter training camp atop the depth chart.

That doesn’t mean McCown is guaranteed to be the Week 1 starter. He will have to win the job in training camp against Teddy Bridgewater and rookie Sam Darnold, who are listed as Nos. 2 and 3 on the depth chart.

“The competition will heat up when we’re in pads,” Bowles said Thursday.

McCown, who will turn 39 in July, is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2017. He completed 67.3 percent of his passes and threw a career-high 18 touchdown passes with nine interceptions in 13 games before suffering a broken left hand.

In March, the Jets signed Bridgewater, who missed the entire 2016 season and the start of the 2017 campaign after suffering a torn ACL and dislocated knee in August 2016.

Bridgewater was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015, when he started all 17 games for the Minnesota Vikings and led them to an 11-5 regular-season record before they lost in the first round of the playoffs. He appeared in one game for the Vikings in 2017, throwing two incomplete passes.

The Jets also used the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft to select Darnold, moving up three spots after a blockbuster trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

Darnold completed 303 of 480 passes for 4,143 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with USC last season.

“He is learning. He is studying,” Bowles said of Darnold on Tuesday. “You make some good throws and you make some bad throws and that is what we are practicing. That is all three quarterbacks, it is not just Sam.”