The 2023 NFL Draft will soon give all 32 teams a chance to add to their respective quarterbacks rooms. Four -- -- signal-callers could go on Day 1 alone. But there may be another avenue for adding QB competition this spring and summer: the XFL.
The latest iteration of the XFL will wrap up on May 13, just before NFL teams begin organized team activities. And there's one signal-caller in particular who has made a case for a promotion to the big league. That would be A.J. McCarron, who's fresh off a for the St. Louis Battlehawks, giving him an XFL-record 24 TDs on the season.
A front-runner for the XFL's 2023 MVP award, McCarron is no stranger to the NFL, having spent the first eight years of his pro career there. At 32, he also wouldn't be the only recent XFL star to earn an NFL reunion. Current Bears backup P.J. Walker spent three years on the Colts' practice squad after going undrafted, but in 2020, playing for the previous rendition of the XFL, he parlayed a hot stretch with the Houston Roughnecks into a three-year stint with the Panthers.
So which teams might be interested in McCarron, who's best known for a four-year run with the Bengals? Here are four potential suitors:
As long as Ryan Tannehill is in town, McCarron is probably a long shot to land in Tennessee. But seeing as the Titans haven't committed to the pricey Tannehill remaining on the roster, this club could soon use an experienced veteran to pair with 2021 third-rounder Malik Willis, as well as a potential early-round investment this year. Titans passing game coordinator Charles London also has a brief history with McCarron, serving as the Falcons' QBs coach when the vet signed with Atlanta in 2021.
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The Giants have expressed confidence in Tyrod Taylor as Daniel Jones' backup, but they could use a third arm. A developmental option might be preferred, but McCarron has familiarity with some key figures in the organization: general manager Joe Schoen was the Bills' assistant GM when Buffalo signed him to a sizable deal as a potential starter in 2018, and head coach Brian Daboll was the Bills' offensive coordinator at the time.
Easton Stick is primed to take over backup QB duties with Chase Daniel departing via free agency, leaving a guy with one career pass as the only confirmed insurance behind Justin Herbert. Even if L.A. drafts a No. 3, McCarron could offer valuable experience through the preseason. The Chargers' QBs coach, Doug Nussmeier, also worked with him at Alabama, serving as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator and QBs coach from 2012-2013.
Yes, really. McCarron had a relatively unceremonious exit from Cincinnati, filing a grievance to secure his freedom from the team after an injury-related dispute, but he's only held the franchise in high regard since. More importantly, he spent the majority of his active NFL career in stripes, and the brass that drafted him -- personnel executives Duke Tobin and Katie Blackburn -- remain in place. Better yet, stud starter Joe Burrow has only practice-squad vet Jake Browning, who's never taken an NFL snap, behind him on the depth chart.