A.J. McCarron

Extra Points: CBA, Clowney, Julio, Butt

As expected based on the past several weeks of talks, there will be no new collective bargaining agreement before Week 1. The parties’ latest round of discussions ended this week without much movement, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes no more meetings are currently scheduled. The owners continue to push for an 18-game season, while the players want a greater revenue share than their 47% figure without adding any additional regular-season contests. But the sides have made progress on issues like increased league-minimum salaries and health and safety components, Pelissero adds. With NFL-NFLPA meetings more difficult to arrange during the season, due to players’ focuses shifting to game preparation, there is now an increased possibility we will get to 2020 without a new CBA in place. That would mean final-year-of-a-CBA rules going into place. This CBA expires after the 2020 season.

Here is the latest from around the league, as rosters continue to take shape leading up to Saturday’s cutdown:

  • It continues to look less and less likely Jadeveon Clowney will wear a Texans uniform again. A bevy of teams are interested, even if a Clowney-to-Miami proposition has hit snags on multiple fronts. Bill O’Brien, who was reported to be against a Clowney extension before this year’s franchise tag deadline, said he will reconvene with Clowney if he signs his tag tender, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Clowney has now threatened to miss regular-season time.
  • We are now less than nine days away from the Falcons‘ opener, and it could put Julio Jones to a decision. The All-Pro wideout did not skip training camp but he would soon be set to play in games on the league’s 13th-highest-AAV receiver deal. Thomas Dimitroff said (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com) the team believes this process is “very close” to being completed. Jones’ current deal runs through the 2020 season.
  • Jake Butt has endured another setback. The Broncos tight end who has undergone three reconstructive ACL surgeries will have another knee procedure soon, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This will be a minor surgery on Butt’s left knee, that was operated on last year. At this point, it should be considered a safe bet Butt will land on the Broncos’ IR list. The Broncos have the former All-American under contract through 2020 and could give him another medical redshirt year of sorts by placing him on IR before finalizing their roster. Butt missed most of Denver’s preseason work.
  • The Texans may have their backup quarterback back soon. A.J. McCarron has resumed throwing, per Wilson, pointing to the longtime Bengals QB2 being available in Week 1. McCarron has been dealing with a thumb injury for most of August. Houston signed McCarron to a one-year, $3MM deal to be Deshaun Watson‘s backup.

Texans To Place QB Joe Webb On IR

The Texans plan to place quarterback Joe Webb on injured reserve, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Webb was carted off the field with a foot injury on Thursday night against the Rams and further testing confirmed that it was a serious malady.

Webb completed 65% of his passes in the exhibition game and was in line to back up Deshaun Watson. On the plus side, QB A.J. McCarron is ready to roll after injuring his thumb early in camp, so the Texans are likely set under center.

Webb, who has carved out a career with quarterback, wide receiver, and special teams skills, may or may not try to extend his career in 2020. He’ll turn 33 in November and celebrate his 34th birthday during the 2020 campaign.

Texans QB A.J. McCarron Could Miss Preseason

Texans quarterback A.J. McCarron may miss the entirety of the preseason after suffering a thumb injury during practice on Tuesday, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Houston gave McCarron a $2.5MM guarantee in March, so there’s no question that he’ll still be in line to be Deshaun Watson‘s backup, regardless of how his injury plays out. However, given that the only other quarterback on the Texans’ roster is gadget player/special teamer Joe Webb, the club will need to sign another signal-caller in order to make it through training camp and the preseason.

While veterans such as Matt Cassel, Landry Jones, and Brandon Weeden are still available on the free agent market, it seems unlikely any of those players will be options for the Texans. Given that McCarron figures to ready for the regular season, it’s difficult to imagine a veteran signing with Houston while knowing they’ll likely be cut within a month. Weeden, though, does have a history with the Texans (2015-16, 2018), so perhaps he’d be amenable to returning, if only for a short period.

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Contract Details: RG3, Glennon, McCarron

Some assorted contract notes from around the NFL…

A.J. McCarron, Texans Finalizing Deal

The Texans’ meeting with A.J. McCarron looks set to produce a signed contract. McCarron and the Texans are finalizing an agreement that would make him their new backup quarterback, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

McCarron agreed to a one-year deal worth $3MM, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle notes (on Twitter).

Released by the Raiders last week, McCarron will land with his fourth AFC team in barely a year. But it appears the longtime backup will land on his feet, being set to work behind Deshaun Watson. Earlier this offseason, the Raiders indicated a desire to retain McCarron as Derek Carr‘s backup. But the former Bengals, Bills (sort of) and Raiders quarterback will likely head to Houston.

It has been a strange few years for McCarron. In 2015, he started a few games in Andy Dalton‘s stead and showed some promise. Then, last March, he appeared to finally be on his way toward becoming an NFL starter when he hooked on with the Bills.

Ultimately, he did not impress in his competition alongside Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen and was shipped to the Raiders. For the bulk of 2018, he held the clipboard and watched Derek Carr go 4-12 in his 16 starts. Since his work for the most recent Bengal playoff team, McCarron has attempted just 17 passes. Three came last season.

The Texans still have Joe Webb on their roster, but he contributes in other facets beyond the usual backup-QB job description. Houston will not bring back Brandon Weeden, according to McClain (on Twitter). Despite Watson taking a league-high 62 sacks and having suffered a torn ACL midway through his rookie season, he played all 16 games last year and took every snap.

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Texans To Meet With A.J. McCarron

The Texans are keeping themselves busy in the second week of free agency. On Monday, the Texans will meet with quarterback A.J. McCarron, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Furthermore, the Texans have some interest in former Raiders tackle Donald Penn, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. They’ll also meet with former Bills tackle Jordan Mills on Monday, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT (Twitter link).

Earlier this offseason, the Raiders said they’d be keeping McCarron in the fold for 2019. However, they had a change of heart along the way (or, they weren’t being entirely truthful about their intentions) and released the QB earlier this month.

It has been a strange few years for McCarron. In 2015, he started a few games in Andy Dalton‘s stead and showed some promise. Then, last March, he appeared to finally be on his way towards becoming a bonafide NFL starter when he hooked on with the Bills. Ultimately, he did not impress in his competition alongside Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen and was shipped to the Raiders. For the bulk of 2018, he held the clipboard and watched Derek Carr go 4-12 in his 16 starts.

McCarron could be a logical fit for the Texans, who may be looking for a new No. 2 behind Deshaun Watson. Last year, Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb served as Watson’s understudies, but both are free agents.

Penn, meanwhile, saw his Raiders run end over the weekend. The Raiders are moving forward with high-priced pickup Trent Brown, but Penn indicated that he plans to continue playing. The Texans, who have been forced to make adjustments on the fly at tackle, could be intently interested in adding someone with Penn’s pedigree.

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Raiders Release A.J. McCarron

The Raiders have released backup quarterback A.J. McCarron per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The moves comes one day before McCarron was due a $3MM roster bonus, and three days before $1.1MM of his $1.8MM 2019 salary became fully guaranteed.

Just two weeks ago, the team indicated that it may keep McCarron around to serve as Derek Carr‘s backup in 2019. At the time, new GM Mike Mayock said, “I think Jon [Gruden] and I both believe that the backup quarterback is one snap away from playing. It’s important to have someone like McCarron ready to go.”

The roster bonus and salary guarantee proved too much to stomach, though the club could theoretically bring McCarron back on a new deal.

This continues a disappointing year for McCarron, who signed with the Bills last offseason with the expectation that he would become Buffalo’s starter. However, things changed in April when Buffalo drafted Josh Allen to be their QB of the future. Just before the start of the season, the Bills shipped McCarron to Oakland for a fifth-round pick.

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Raiders To Keep A.J. McCarron?

Raiders quarterback A.J. McCarron is scheduled to receive a $3MM bonus if he’s on the roster on March 15. In theory, the Raiders can cut him in the next two weeks to avoid that expenditure, but it sounds like he’s still in the team’s plans for 2019. 

“I think Jon [Gruden] and I both believe that the backup quarterback is one snap away from playing. It’s important to have someone like McCarron ready to go,” GM Mike Mayock said (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal).

In addition to his $3MM bonus on March 15, $1.1MM of McCarron’s $1.8MM salary will become fully guaranteed on March 17. McCarron, who moved between the Bengals, Bills, and Raiders last offseason, will probably be happy to take his coat off and stay a while.

When signed by the Bills in March of last year, McCarron was expected to serve as the successor to Tyrod Taylor. Unfortunately for him, things changed in April when the Bills drafted Josh Allen to be their QB of the future. Just before the start of the season, the Bills shipped McCarron to Oakland for a fifth-round pick.

McCarron probably still aims to be someone’s starter, but for now, he’ll be one snap away from anchoring the Raiders’ offense.

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Raiders To Acquire QB A.J. McCarron

The Raiders will acquire quarterback A.J. McCarron from the Bills, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Buffalo will receive a fifth-round pick, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Bills signed McCarron to compete for their starting job this spring, but he quickly fell behind both Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden made clear that the team was in the market for a veteran backup quarterback and that they weren’t happy with the performances of returning players Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel. It’s unclear what the compensation is at this point, but it’s likely nothing more than a late round pick.

The Raiders haven’t announced all their cuts yet, but this means that at least one of Cook or Manuel will be sent packing, if not both. McCarron developed a reputation as one of the league’s better backups while holding Andy Dalton’s clipboard the past few seasons.

He was expected to have opportunities to start this offseason, but he was greeted with a quiet market in free agency. He didn’t draw much interest outside of Buffalo, and ended up signing a two-year deal there. The Bills will now move forward with Allen and Peterman, although they haven’t announced who will start between the two.

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AJ McCarron Didn’t Fracture Collarbone

AJ McCarron‘s injury was not as serious as originally thought. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Bills quarterback did not suffer a fracture in his collarbone, as was reported following the team’s preseason game on Friday. While McCarron was expected to miss “several weeks,” NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the quarterback is now day-to-day. McCarron is expected to return to practice once his shoulder pain subsides.

This is surely welcome news to the Bills, who inked the quarterback to a two-year, $8.1MM deal this offseason. However, the team has already decided to roll with first-rounder Josh Allen as their starter for this weekend’s game against the Bengals (Twitter link). The rookie quarterback has the most passing attempts through Buffalo’s first two games, completing 18 of his 32 passes for 176 yards and two scores. For comparison’s sake, McCarron has completed 10-of-16 for 128 yards and no touchdowns, while Nathan Peterman has gone 17-of-20 for 231 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

McCarron’s only relevant NFL work came as a replacement to an injured Andy Dalton during the 2015 campaign. The former Alabama star had been in the rumor mill through much of his tenure in Cincinnati, including a reported trade to the Browns that ultimately fell through. In 11 career games (three starts), the 27-year-old has completed 64.7-percent of his passes for 920 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also started the Bengals’ 2015 playoff loss to the Steelers, throwing a touchdown and a pick.

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