Josh McCown, who played the role of mentor for Darnold last season, said he's not made a decision about playing in 2019.
"While I still have a strong desire to continue playing, my family dynamics at this point are such that I would like to take more time before making the commitment to play in 2019," McCown said in a statement on social media. "I have spoken to the Jets to make them aware. I'm excited about spending time with my family as we process what's next."
McCown played a vital role as a veteran teacher for Darnold, someone who the rookie could lean on throughout the season. McCown helped teach the young signal-caller the kind of effort, time, and mentality it takes to succeed as an NFL quarterback. The veteran also started three games while Darnold sat due to injury.
Turning 40 years old in July, McCown has earned the right to dictate his future. Plenty of NFL teams with young quarterbacks would gladly sign up for a teacher like McCown as a backup later in the process. If nothing else, and the quarterback wants to remain in the football realm, he'd almost certainly get coaching offers if he desired to pivot his career away from the field.
In the interim, the Jets could look to add another veteran presence behind McCown, and ahead of flier Davis Webb. One rumored option has been Ryan Tannehill, when he's ultimately cut from Miami. If Tannehill doesn't find a place where he could compete for a starting gig, rejoining Adam Gase as a backup could make sense.