A.J. McCarron

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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Bills Notes: Quarterbacks, Williams, O’Leary

Running back Marcus Murphy continues to improve his chances of making the Bills’ 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round had a brief cameo with Buffalo last season, but he had showed some intriguing flashes during his tenure with the Saints. His talents have been on display during the preseason, as he’s compiled 74 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries (he’s also hauled in four catches).

“I just want to make a play,” Murphy told Branson Wright of Cleveland.com. “Whenever an opportunity is given, I just want to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being a running back, punt returner or kick returner. I just want to be a playmaker whenever I get the chance.”

“I appreciate the coaching staff giving me an opportunity. I want to show them that they can trust me to make a play and show that I’m able to execute whenever they need me to.”

Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News is ready to give Murphy a spot on the opening-day roster, and the writer cites the struggles of current number-three running back Travaris Cadet. Otherwise, Murphy would be competing with Taiwan Jones for a role behind LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Buffalo…

  • While Skurski is willing to hand Murphy a roster spot, he wonders if tight end Nick O’Leary is on the roster bubble. While the 25-year-old did finish last night’s preseason win over the Browns with a team-leading four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown, he didn’t end up taking the field until the second half. If the former sixth-rounder has any hopes of making the Bills, he’ll have to beat out Jason Croom, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee for backup reps behind Charles Clay. O’Leary finished last season with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (five starts).
  • Quarterback A.J. McCarron suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during last night’s preseason game. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the signal-caller will end up missing “several weeks,” but a definitive timetable hasn’t been set. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mike Rodak isn’t ready to hand the starting quarterback gig to first-rounder Josh Allen. The reporter notes (on Twitter) that head coach Sean McDermott has a high opinion of backup Nathan Peterman, and McCarron’s injury shouldn’t force the coach to “stray from his “calculated” plan about Allen.” Rodak believes the two healthy quarterbacks will split reps during next weekend’s game against the Bengals, although he also wonders if the team may end up adding another quarterback to the roster.
  • Defensive lineman Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury during last night’s game, but Rapoport tweets that the Pro Bowler’s ACL wasn’t injured. If the MRI confirms that prognosis, the 35-year-old “could return this season.” That still sounds like a rather grim outlook for the defensive tackle, but the MRI will likely provide specific details on the severity of the injury. The five-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire 12-year career with Buffalo, and he finished last season with 41 tackles and three sacks. If he is indeed forced to miss time, the Bills will likely turn to Harrison Phillips or Adolphus Washington for a bigger role.

A.J. McCarron Fractures Collarbone

A.J. McCarron suffered an injury during his first preseason start with the Bills, and it appears likely it will affect the franchise’s quarterback plans going forward. The free agent addition suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports (on Twitter).

McCarron started over Nathan Peterman on Friday night in Cleveland but may have to cede the reins to the younger passer now. Peterman started the Bills’ first preseason game, but McCarron represents the bigger investment, having signed a two-year, $8.1MM deal this offseason. He was viewed as the stopgap quarterback that will provide the bridge to Josh Allen.

Allen figures to see more time as a result of McCarron’s setback, and although the Wyoming product was not viewed as a ready-made NFL signal-caller, his NFL audition could come sooner than previously expected if McCarron misses extensive time.

McCarron’s only relevant NFL work came because of a 2015 Andy Dalton injury, and after a trade to the Browns fell through at the last minute last year, a setback in Cleveland ten months later may deny him a chance at a surefire starting role. Peterman has one game of NFL starting experience, but that start turned out to be one of the worst in NFL history. But he may be the next man up.