Last season, Josh McCown, then a 40-year-old Eagles backup quarterback, had what I assumed was his final moment in the fading sun. After Carson Wentz got injured (what else is new) early in the Eagles playoff game against the Seahawks, McCown took over under center and played admirably (75 percent completion, 175 yards passing, no turnovers) in a 17-9 loss.
Little did I know McCown's greatest act was yet to come.
McCown just signed with the Eagles to be their practice squad quarterback. It's a historic signing as McCown, now 41, is the oldest practice squad player in NFL history. But even more impressive than ensuring his name is forever written in the prestigious NFL practice squad history books, he secured the sweetest job in America. He gets to live at home in Texas, telecommute to practices and gets paid $12,000 a week for his effort.
If that's not the life, I don't know what is.
The charmed life of the journeyman veteran backup quarterback who gets paid handsomely but doesn't face the dangers of 300-pound men trying to drive them through the turf has been well chronicled. But never have we seen a journeyman veteran practice squad quarterback get a sweeter deal than this.
Not only will McCown rake in over $200,000 over the 17-week NFL season (more if the Eagles make the playoffs), but he also gets to do it from the comfort of home. With no practice. And no commuting. And fewer hours. And no chance of being hit once even by mistake. And, as the fourth-string quarterback on the Eagles roster, absolutely no chance of ever needing to fly to Philly and suit up for another game again.
Yes, McCown will have to earn that money by providing insight and intel to Wentz and the rest of the quarterbacks. And yes, he will have to put in some long hours of film study and teleconference calls to keep his title of backup, backup, backup Eagles quarterback. But that's a small price to pay for being paid more than most Americans make in five years to essentially be a work-from-home coach.
McCown got this opportunity because the NFL expanded the practice squad to 16 players this season because of the coronavirus. It's his 17th year in the NFL and he's played for eight different teams. Last year was the first time he played in a playoff game. But while that seemed like the storybook ending, McCown's greatest job has just begun. Perhaps others will soon follow in the trailblazer's footsteps. I'm willing to start right now.