If AJ McCarron Has the the Best Job in the NFL, DeShaun Watson Has the Worst

By Stephen Douglas
AJ McCarron and Deshaun Watson
AJ McCarron and Deshaun Watson / Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Deshaun Watson, who is in the next-to-last year of his rookie deal, is criminally underpaid. He's set to make just $4.4 million this season after quarterbacking the Houston Texans to the playoffs in both his second and third years in the NFL. As a reward, Bill O'Brien traded away DeAndre Hopkins. So now Watson has to do more with less while he tries to stay healthy until he can sign his own version of Patrick Mahomes' contract.

Then there is his backup, AJ McCarron. The former Alabama star signed a 1-year deal with the Texans worth $3 million in 2019. He started one game last season - the fourth of his career. He completed 21 of 36 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown. That earned him another 1-year deal. This one is worth $4 million. That makes him the sixth-highest paid backup quarterback in the league. As you can see below, he stands to make more than some starters as well.

Obviously, there are a number of starters who are underpaid on rookie deals, but compared to what his backup makes, Watson's salary number just seems wrong.

Of all the salaries on that list, McCarron's seems the most insane, which makes perfect sense when you consider O'Brien was the one to give him the contract. It is wild to think that McCarron will get $4 million to watch Deshaun Watson play this season. Imagine getting paid $4 million this year to be the only fan at every Houston Texans game? That's more than twice as much as Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham's cap figures combined.

How must Watson feel as O'Brien destroys a playoff roster and pays his backup the same amount of money as himself? It's the worst deal in football. Or the best if you're McCarron.

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