‘Too Good of an Opportunity’: Texans Steal Veteran QB Away From Eagles

Josh McCown

Getty Backup QB Josh McCown was ready to play WR for the Eagles against the Giants. He did it back in 2006.

The Josh McCown experiment is officially over in Philadelphia, according to the quarterback’s agent. The Houston Texans have signed McCown to their active roster after the 41-year-old spent the first eight weeks on the Eagles’ practice squad. That was quick.

Houston is coming off their bye week and return to action on Sunday versus Jacksonville. They were expected to be major sellers at the NFL trade deadline but made just one minor trade after sending defensive tackle Eli Ankou to the Cowboys in exchange for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick.

There was some thought that maybe the Texans stole McCown off the Eagles practice squad but it sounds like it was a mutual parting of ways. His agent Mike McCartney told Houston Chronicle reporter Aaron Wilson it was “too good of an opportunity to turn down.”

Keep in mind that McCown grew up in Jacksonville, Texas and his family recently moved back to the East Texas area. His two sons, Owen and Aiden, play football at Rusk High School which is less than a three-hour drive from Houston.

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Eagles Named McCown ‘Quarantine’ QB

The Eagles were considered geniuses for stashing McCown on their practice squad coming out of training camp. His main role was to be the team’s emergency quarterback and serve as “quarantine” insurance should a COVID-19 outbreak infect the Eagles quarterbacks room. McCown was attending meetings virtually at his home in Texas while lending support as a pseudo coach to Philadelphia. Perhaps the 18-year NFL veteran got the itch to play again.

“The care I have for the guys in the locker room, I think that would be different if this was a new team that I was doing this for,” McCown told reporters on Sept. 8. “But because I’ve been with these guys last year and played alongside these guys, there’s a connection for me at least, that makes this I think a different feeling.”

McCown had expressed his admiration for starter Carson Wentz at the time, too. It was his job to mentor the kid from North Dakota and mold him into a leader of men. Now he’ll take that nurturing instinct to Houston and apply it to Deshaun Watson.

Thanks for the Memories, Josh

McCown’s time in Philly was short but he certainly left a major impact. Several Eagles teammates have openly talked about how much he influenced them to be better players. He almost gutted out a playoff win versus Seattle when Wentz got concussed. McCown finished 18-of-24 for 174 yards (94.8 QB rating), including five rushes for 25 yards in his first-ever postseason game.

McCown had been off-limits to reporters — and out of the building, away from teammates — since taking over as the “quarantine” quarterback, but the Eagles provided an update on how things were going for him last month. Head coach Doug Pederson applauded his mastery of the game plan and communication with Wentz.

“Things are going really well. He’s been attentive in all the meetings,” Pederson told Philly reporters on Oct. 9. “He’s up on the game plan, and so he’s constantly in communication with Carson and the quarterbacks, obviously not only in the meetings but privately outside of the building, which is really good. His impact is being felt even though he’s out of the building at this time.”

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