Cavanaugh joins the Jets after spending the last four seasons as the University of Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Cavanaugh, who played 14 NFL seasons for four teams (New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants), also has 11 years of NFL coaching experience, serving as an offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens (1999-2004) and Chicago Bears (1997-98) and as a quarterbacks coach for the 49ers (1996) and Arizona Cardinals (1994-95).
Cavanaugh will oversee the Jets' quarterbacks, including Brett Favre -- if the veteran decides to return for a 19th NFL season.
Favre is expected to make a decision on his future within the next few weeks. The Jets also have quarterbacks Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge on their roster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.