A.J. McCarron is finally about to get his big chance to be an NFL starter. The fifth-year pro has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. His new deal carries with it a base value of $10 million with McCarron carrying a cap number of $3 million in 2018 and $7 million in 2019, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
A.J. McCarron Signs Two-Year Deal With Buffalo Bills
McCarron was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He played collegiate football for Alabama and won back-to-back consensus national titles with the Crimson Tide. He was one of only seven quarterbacks to accomplish this feat.
McCarron’s first collegiate touchdown came on a 29-yard pass to Julio Jones. He didn’t get the starting job until his sophomore season. As a starter, McCarron led the Crimson Tide to an 11-1 regular season record. Their one loss came against the number-one ranked LSU Tigers, whom they defeated for the BCS National Championship.
During the first nine games of his second season as Bama’s starter, McCarron compiled 999 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. His strong start propelled the Crimson Tide on their way to a second straight BCS National Championship game where they defeated Notre Dame. During that season, McCarron threw for 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
In his senior year, McCarron continued his effective play-style, but the team fell short of the national championship. McCarron finished his college career with 9,019 passing yards, 77 touchdowns, and only 15 interceptions. His longest touchdown pass was a 99-yard catch-and-run to Amari Cooper.
McCarron didn’t start a game for the Bengals until the 2015 season after starter Andy Dalton fractured his thumb. In his first career start, he completed 15 of 29 passes and threw for one touchdown. McCarron started four games in the 2015 season in which he threw for 832 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.
The 27-year-old was the focus of an alleged botched trade during the 2017 season. The Cleveland Browns agreed to trade for McCarron in exchange for a second and third-round draft picks for the 2018 draft. However, the Browns failed to file the paperwork before the 4 p.m. trade deadline which rendered the trade invalid.
McCarron has not seen serious on-the-field action since the 2015 NFL season.