Josh McCown’s long, eventful NFL career is over.

The former Jets quarterback announced his retirement Monday, after playing 16 seasons in the NFL and appearing in games with eight different teams. He spent his final two seasons with the Jet, graciously serving as Sam Darnold’s mentor last season after losing the starting job to the rookie.

“Looking back, I’m proud of how my career has gone,” McCown wrote on The Players The Players Tribune, where he announced his retirement. “I don’t shy away from the journeyman label. I embrace it, full force. Because it’s been one heck of a journey.”

ESPN announced Monday that McCown will join the network’s NFL coverage as a studio analyst later this week. McCown, who turns 40 next month, also wrote that he plans on helping coach his sons, who are both high school quarterbacks

McCown, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2002, also played for the Lions Raiders, Panthers, Bears, Bucs and Browns. McCown signed with the Jets in 2017, won the starting job over Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg and had the best season of his career throwing for 2926 yards and 18 touchdowns in 13 games.

When the Jets drafted Darnold in 2018, McCown didn’t have much of a chance to win the starting job when it became apparent that the 21-year-old rookie was ready enough to start. But McCown embraced his role as a mentor, working closely with Darnold and developing a friendship with his young teammate.

Darnold and the Jets will certainly miss McCown’s stewardship going forward.


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