Jacksonville Jaguars should pass on A.J. McCarron


The Jacksonville Jaguars have options this offseason to address the quarterback position, but targeting A.J. McCarron would be a mistake.

A sharp focus for the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason will be the quarterback position. Despite playing every snap under center en route to an AFC championship game berth, Blake Bortles is not guaranteed to be the starter in 2018.

Rumors are flying that the Jaguars are interested in free agent Kirk Cousins, but the team could also opt to pick a passer in this year’s draft.

There are also lesser options available in free agency, including a new entry – former Cincinnati Bengals draft pick A.J. McCarron.

McCarron’s availability is a surprise, since he had to file a grievance to become a free agent.

"McCarron’s grievance centered on whether he should have spent his rookie season (2014) on the non-football injury list. An independent arbitrator ruled in the 27-year-old’s favor, which will send the career backup to the open market on March 14 — the first day of the new league year."

The questions the Jaguars have to answer as they evaluate their options at quarterback over the next few months are:

  • Is this options better than Blake Bortles?
  • Is this option more expensive than Blake Bortles?
  • Is the premium worth the upgrade?

To me, A.J. McCarron may not even qualify to answer the first question in the affirmative.

McCarron has been in the league for 4 years since being taken in the 5th round and he’s only made 4 starts. His physical skill set was so underwhelming that teams passed on him numerous times in the 2014 draft despite his winning pedigree from Alabama.

McCarron has been stuck behind the archetypal average quarterback – Andy Dalton – for the entirety of his professional career.

McCarron is a good backup quarterback. He’s not a long-term starter.

This offseason, he has the leverage to command starter-level money because teams are desperate to find a viable passer.

The Jaguars already have their A.J. McCarron in Blake Bortles. There’s no reason to put in the time, effort, and money for what is at best lateral move.

Either go for a big fish (Kirk Cousins) or swing for the fences in the draft, but don’t spin your wheels on a guy who’s destined to be a career backup.