Tampa Bay has announced the release of starting qurterback Josh McCown, who was set to make $5.25 million in 2015. McCown was essentially out of football in 2013 before re-joining the Chicago Bears and having a surprising run in relief of an injured Jay Cutler where he went 3-2 and posted an impressive 13:1 TD:Int ratio. McCown was able to springboard that brief run into a $4.75 million salary from the Buccaneers just one year removed from making the minimum salary. McCown finished the year with a 1-10 record as a starter and his number driftec back to his career averages as he put up just 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
With the first pick in the draft there was really no need for the Buccaneers to waste more time with McCown. Even if they do not select a quaterback they don’t need a 36 year old under center when there are younger players they can target. By releasing McCown now he will get a jump on free agency, but my own belief is teams will wait before really making a move. McCown did not draw tremendous interest in free agency last season and he was a minimum salary player before that.
The going rate for a backup of his skillset is probably in the $1.6 to $2.0 million range. Teams with poor QB situations such as the Bills, Jets, and Titans might show some interest. It’s also possible that at this stage of his career he would rather hook up with a coach he is familiar with play a backup role such as backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.