The Houston Texans have signed free agent quarterback A.J. McCarron who played the 2018 season with the Oakland Raiders. The Texans were looking to add a younger option at quarterback behind Deshaun Watson and feel confident McCarron can be the backup for this offense. McCarron agreed to the one-year, $3 million deal, placing him on the Texans roster for the 2019 season.
What does the addition of McCarron mean for the organization heading into 2019? We take a look below.
- The Texans have opted to move on from Brandon Weeden, who was O’Brien’s hand-picked back up option, in favor of A.J McCarron. McCarron was drafted by the Bengals in 2014 and bounced around after the 2017 season, seeing time with the Bills and then the Raiders. The Raiders traded for McCarron after signing a two-year deal worth $10 million to be the Bills back up. Regardless, McCarron is at the point of his football career that he is a decidedly backup option and, with his small sample size of play for the Bengals, a solid option to back up Watson if needed this season.
- The Texans continue to try to get younger on the roster, which is exactly what McCarron offers: he is a 28-year old quarterback, clearly an upgrade athletically over former backups Brandon Weeden and Tom Savage. The signing may not feel significant to most, but McCarron’s age played a huge factor in the move for the Texans.
- The Raiders cut McCarron mid-March, making him available for the Texans to pick up as their backup. What should not be overlooked is how general manager Brian Gaine continues to look at veterans cut by other teams who do not affect the team's compensatory picks. Currently, the organization has a potential 3rd-round selection after the Chiefs signed Tyrann Mathieu. McCarron comes from the pool of players cut by their former team, which gives Gaine the option to sign him with zero negative effect for the Texans.
- As for McCarron, on the field he has been put into situations to save a season like he did for the Bengals in 2015. After Andy Dalton went down with a thumb injury, McCarron started the final three games that year to get the Bengals into the playoffs. Completing 66.4% of his passes with 6 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions showed that McCarron is a back up quarterback who can answer the bell like he did for the Bengals that season.
- Even with the addition of McCarron, expect the Texans to bring in at least one more quarterback heading into their off-season work. The team might even look to bring in as many as two quarterbacks to help with the work needed to run an NFL offseason but Deshaun Watson and A.J. McCarron will be the Texans top two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
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