Atlanta Falcons adding AJ McCarron to serve as Matt Ryan’s backup


The Atlanta Falcons have found their backup for Matt Ryan at quarterback, agreeing to terms with AJ McCarron on a one-year deal Friday.

The addition comes a day after the Falcons decided to pass on two of the five quarterbacks taken in the first round of the draft to select tight end Kyle Pitts out of Florida. After the first round of the draft, general manager Terry Fontenot said the team would still be looking to acquire a quarterback. He just didn’t indicate how.

But the Falcons needed one because, prior to McCarron, the only quarterback on the roster had been Ryan.

“There’s still a chance we could definitely draft a quarterback,” Fontenot said Thursday night, before the agreement with McCarron was announced. “We got a long way to go, and there are some good quarterbacks that I believe [are] in the draft still. Still a chance we could draft a quarterback or, again, we could get out of the draft and there could be a trade.

“There are still a lot of other opportunities to acquire quarterbacks and to fill out the roster the right way.”

McCarron, 30, has played for three teams since being a fifth-round choice by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014. He played in 17 games between Cincinnati, Houston and Oakland with four starts — three for the Bengals in 2015 and one for the Texans in 2019. He has completed 109 of 174 passes in his career for 1,173 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Last season, McCarron threw just one pass — a 20-yard completion to Steven Mitchell in a 41-38 Week 17 loss to the Tennessee Titans and his new boss, then-Titans offensive coordinator and now-Falcons coach Arthur Smith.

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