New Houston Texans quarterback Josh McCown is still going strong in his 19th NFL season.
When McCown debuted with the Arizona Cardinals in 2002, Larry Fitzgerald was still two seasons away from doing the same. Tom Brady had just won his first Super Bowl, Brad Johnson was about to lead Tampa Bay to a ring of its own, and Jerry Rice was about to make his final Pro Bowl.
It has been a long ride for McCown, who joined the Houston Texans after spending the 2020 season’s first two months on the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad. Considering how little he’s really played, McCown has made a ton of money over the years.
Josh McCown is in his 19th NFL season
How long ago was the 2002 NFL draft, you ask?
Houston, then an expansion team, drafted quarterback David Carr with the top overall pick. Carr was 23 when he made his NFL debut that September. His younger brother, Derek, is now in his seventh NFL season.
Now, Josh McCown will suit up for the Houston Texans. McCown, the 81st overall pick that year, is the only active player left from that class.
Legendary pass-rusher Julius Peppers retired after the 2018 season. Longtime Colts defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney was the only other player from that class who made it past the 2015 season; Freeney played his final down in 2018.
In 102 career games, McCown completed 60.2% of his passes for 17,731 yards, 98 touchdowns, and 82 interceptions. McCown also picked up 1,106 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 4.5 yards per carry.
McCown has played all over the league
Josh McCown and his family have certainly picked up plenty of frequent flier miles over the years.
McCown played the first four years of his career in Arizona, completing 57.8% of his passes for 5,431 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 29 touchdowns across 33 games and 22 starts.
After spending 2010 out of the NFL, McCown signed with the Chicago Bears in 2011 and spent three years there. McCown returned to relevancy when he went 3-2 for the Bears in 2013 and threw 13 touchdowns to just one interception.
Those numbers earned McCown a contract with former Bears coach Lovie Smith, now coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2014. McCown won just one of his 11 starts, however, and Tampa cut him that offseason.
Considering that McCown completed 60.4% of his passes for 3,209 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 13 games for the Browns from 2015-16, one could argue he’s one of the most productive quarterbacks in modern franchise history.
McCown threw 18 touchdowns to nine interceptions and hit a career-best 67.3% of his passes for the Jets in 2017. He lost all three of his starts in 2018, however, and retired after the season.
Philadelphia lured McCown out of retirement last year, and he backed up Carson Wentz. McCown spent the first two months of this season as a remote practice squad player.
Josh McCown has made a ton of money for limited play
According to Spotrac, Josh McCown has made $52.3 million in his 18 NFL seasons.
In that same stretch, McCown only threw 98 touchdown passes. That means McCown has earned $533,998 per touchdown in the NFL.
Rounded up, McCown has earned a cool $534,000 for fairly limited play.
McCown threw 25 of those touchdowns in Arizona from 2002-05, so let’s remove those for a second. Spotrac estimated McCown made $2.82 million in Arizona.
With the $2.82 million and 25 touchdowns removed, McCown has made over $678,000 per touchdown throw since 2006. If McCown doesn’t go into broadcasting or coaching, he may want to take his talents to Wall Street.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.