It’s not likely to silence the Atlanta critics who wanted the Falcons to draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the first round, but the Falcons added a signal caller on Friday, signing veteran A.J. McCarron to a one-year deal.
In seven NFL seasons, McCarron has played for three teams. He spent four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted McCarron in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In 2015, he started four games after Andy Dalton injured his thumb, including a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCarron also played for the then Oakland Raiders in 2018 and spent the last two seasons with the Houston Texans.
McCarron has started just one game over the last five seasons, but after the decision not to select a quarterback in the first round Thursday night, the Falcons have indicated Matt Ryan will remain their starter for the foreseeable future. McCarron is 2-2 in the regular season as a starter in his career, but based on Ryan’s incredible health history, McCarron won’t see many snaps. Ryan has missed three games in his 13-year career.
In 17 regular season appearances in the NFL, McCarron has completed 109 of 174 passes (62.6%) for 1,173 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He played for Alabama from 2010-13, leading the Crimson Tide to two BCS Championships.
Ironically, McCarron’s first college touchdown pass was a 29-yard throw to Julio Jones.