Josh McCown ends retirement, returns to NFL

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

For the second time this year, a former NFL player is leaving ESPN to return to the NFL.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports (announces) that Josh McCown of ESPN is now Josh McCown of the Eagles. McCown joins Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as football players turned ESPN analysts turned football players.

McCown, who plans to resume his broadcasting career after the season, joins a depth chart that has been reduced through two preseason games from four healthy players to two: Carson Wentz and Thurston Howell III Clayton Thorson.

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The Eagles had planned to add no quarterbacks after losing primary backup Nate Sudfeld to a broken wrist. With Cody Kessler now in the concussion protocol, the Eagles needed someone else.

Schefter’s announcement creates the impression that McCown will be with the Eagles all year long. There’s a chance, however, he won’t make the 53-man roster — especially if his one-year deal isn’t guaranteed at signing. Indeed, eight years ago to the day, he signed with the 49ers; two weeks later, he was released.

McCown entered the NFL in 2002 with the Cardinals. He has played for Arizona, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, the Hartford Colonials, San Francisco (briefly), Chicago, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, the New York Jets, and now Philadelphia. That’s more than 25 percent of the entire NFL, and exactly one fourth of the long-defunct UFL.

Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick’s phone still isn’t ringing, 10 years to the month after the Eagles gave a second chance to a convicted felon who spent nearly two years in prison for running a dogfighting operation.

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