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Houston Texans finalizing deal with QB A.J. McCarron

AJ McCarron, Texans

The Houston Texans are adding a quarterback. They’re finalizing a deal with A.J. McCarron, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. McCarron was recently cut by the Oakland Raiders after spending the 2018 season with them.

McCarron was once a very highly regarded backup with the Cincinnati Bengals. Many people thought he had starting potential. The former Alabama star showed well in a few spot starts in Cincinnati, and he was supposed to have had an active market when he hit free agency last offseason.

That never materialized, and McCarron was forced to settle for a modest two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. He lost Buffalo’s quarterback competition, and the Bills traded him to the Raiders. He spent last year backing up Derek Carr, but Oakland apparently thought it could do better.

The Texans had Brandon Weeden as their backup last year, and this is presumably a sign that they won’t be bringing him back next year. McCarron will now slide in as Deshaun Watson’s backup. Watson missed most of his rookie season with a torn ACL, and was banged up a lot last year even though he started all 16 games, so there’s a very real chance McCarron could be forced into action.

The Houston franchise knows how much backup quarterbacks can and do matter in the AFC South. The Tennessee Titans got caught with Blaine Gabbert late last season and couldn’t beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17. The Texans suffered in past years when Tom Savage was part of their quarterback room. Seeking a better backup is not something to undervalue or minimize in this division.

It has been a tough couple of years for McCarron, but he’ll get a chance to save his career with the Texans. In 13 games and three career starts, McCarron has 928 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also started a playoff game for the Bengals when Andy Dalton couldn’t go. It’s possible he could face competition from a rookie in training camp.