Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Josh Rosen (16) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Vacancy? Browns brace for Deshaun Watson ban, to host QBs

Josh Rosen and AJ McCarron are candidates to be the next man up for the Cleveland Browns if quarterback Deshaun Watson is suspended, as expected, for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Per multiple reports, the Browns are bringing in the backups to have a ready plan if the NFL suspends Watson for multiple games. Watson met with league investigators for three days in Delaware earlier this month to discuss allegations of sexual misconduct.

Pro Football Talk reported a multi-game suspension was likely but not more than eight games.

Watson, acquired by the Browns from the Houston Texans for multiple draft picks, could reportedly agree not to appeal if the NFL opts against a season-long suspension.

Cleveland has prepared to be without Watson by signing former NFL starter Jacoby Brissett. He would be No. 1 if Watson is erased from the depth chart for any period of time, general manager Andrew Berry said earlier this month. Josh Dobbs is the No. 3 quarterback on the roster entering camp.

But behind Brissett and Dobbs, the Browns are kicking the tires on Rosen, who was with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. The 2018 first-round pick of the Cardinals was traded to the Miami Dolphins following Arizona’s selection of Kyler Murray.

The 31-year-old McCarron was Watson’s backup with the Houston Texans in 2019 and 2020.

McCarron, a fifth-round pick in 2014, has played in 16 career games with the Cincinnati Bengals, Raiders (then in Oakland) and Texans. He tore his ACL in the 2021 preseason with the Falcons.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Santa Clara, CA, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws the ball during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility.  Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: QB Josh Rosen to vie for backup job with Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons will sign Josh Rosen to compete for the chance to back up quarterback Matt Ryan, multiple outlets reported.

The Falcons are seeking a No. 2 quarterback after AJ McCarron was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Saturday’s 37-17 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins. Aside from Ryan, undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks is the only quarterback on the roster.

Rosen, still only 24, was the No. 10 overall selection by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft. After Rosen’s rocky first season — a 3-10 record as a starter, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions — the Cardinals traded him to the Miami Dolphins and selected Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.

The Dolphins lost all three games he started in Miami in 2019 and released Rosen. He did not see game action in 2020, having spent most of the season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad before the San Francisco 49ers signed him in December.

He was released last week.

In his career, Rosen has completed 54.8 percent of his passes (275 of 502) for 2,845 yards with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback AJ McCarron (5) drop back to attempts a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

AJ McCarron, pegged as Falcons’ backup QB, out for season

Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback AJ McCarron will need season-ending surgery to repair an ACL injury to his right knee, the team announced on Sunday.

McCarron, who was preparing for his seventh NFL season, all as a reserve, left in the second quarter of Saturday night’s 37-17 loss to the host Miami Dolphins. He scrambled for a seven-yard gain before linebacker Sam Eguavoen delivered a hard tackle.

McCarron stayed in the game, but grabbed at the knee after handing the ball off on the next play. Undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks took over and completed 4 of 9 passes for 46 yards with one interception.

Starting quarterback Matt Ryan has not appeared in either of Atlanta’s preseason games. Ryan and Franks are the only other quarterbacks on the Falcons’ roster. They open the season by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 12.

A fifth-round draft choice by Cincinnati out of Alabama in 2014, McCarron spent three seasons with the Bengals, followed by one with the then-Oakland Raiders and two with the Houston Texans.

In 17 games, 11 of them with Cincinnati, McCarron has completed 109 of 174 passes for 1,173 yards and six touchdowns.

McCarron signed a one-year contract with the Falcons in April.

–Field Level Media