McCarron, a former fifth-round pick, spent his first four seasons with the Bengals before backing up Derek Carr in Oakland last season. He will now be the No. 2 quarterback behind Deshaun Watson in Houston. The 27-year-old has only started three games in his career, all of which came in 2015.
McCarron was released by the Raiders on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Trading a fifth-round pick for McCarron did not appear to be one of head coach Jon Gruden's finest moments last season, and cutting the quarterback with time left on his contract is doing that image no favors. McCarron will now return to the free-agent market with hopes of finding a new spot to compete for a No. 2 gig. One possible landing spot is the Bengals, who recently signed McCarron's old quarterbacks coach with the Raiders, Brian Callahan, as offensive coordinator.
General manager Mike Mayock recently expressed his desire for McCarron to remain with the Raiders in 2019, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. "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," Mayock said at Wednesday's NFL combine.
Oakland raised eyebrows around the league last offseason by shipping a fifth-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for McCarron's services as a backup. The 2014 fifth-rounder ultimately logged just 12 snaps and three attempted passes in 2018. The Alabama product will soon be owed a $3 million roster bonus if he remains on the Raiders' roster March 15, and the majority of his contract will then become guaranteed on the 17th.
Apparently displeased with his backup quarterback situation, Raiders coach Jon Gruden is bringing in a replacement for EJ Manuel and Connor Cook. It isn't entirely clear McCarron will be an upgrade, given that he completed just 46 percent of his passes for 5.7 yards per attempt with the Bills this preseason.
We'll never know if McCarron saved his job with a fantastic comeback to rescue what began as a horrible start Thursday against the Bears. The bigger news to come out of Buffalo will be what the 1-2-3 pecking order is between McCarron, Nathan Peterman and franchise QB Josh Allen, an order that has seemingly flipped around all summer. The team has only a few more days, if that, to publicly settle the issue.
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