Surprise! Eagles lure Josh McCown out of retirement to back up Carson Wentz

Back in June, Josh McCown announced he had retired after 16 NFL seasons with 10 NFL teams.

Well, make that 17 and 11, respectively, now.

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The Philadelphia Eagles will be McCown’s latest team as they were able to convince the veteran quarterback to end his brief retirement and announcing career.

McCown, who turned 40 in July, was set to start a broadcasting career with ESPN. But it appears he’ll spend at least one more season in the NFL.

NFL Network is reporting that McCown will sign for a base salary of $2 million fully guaranteed, a good indication that he’ll make the roster and spend a 17th season in the NFL.

What necessitated the signing

The Eagles have been struck by injuries at QB, with Cody Kessler going down with a concussion after expected backup backup Nate Sudfeld suffered a broken left wrist in the preseason opener. Starter Carson Wentz has been beset by injuries dating back to his college days at North Dakota State.

Josh McCown, who spent time with 10 NFL franchises, has another team to add to the list. (Getty Images)
Josh McCown, who spent time with 10 NFL franchises, has another team to add to the list. (Getty Images)

A third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2002, McCown will have outlasted every single member of that draft class (assuming Julius Peppers doesn’t come out of retirement this season).

McCown has spent time with 10 NFL teams, playing for seven of them, plus a stop with the Hartford Colonials in the UFL. He’s started 76 regular season games, and though his team has only won 23 of those, he earned a reputation as one of the best backups in the league.

McCown has always embraced the “journeyman” label, and yet he’s been called on to start 43 games over the past six seasons for the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.

After Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold went down last season, McCown started three games and completed 60-of-110 passes (54.5 completion percentage) for 539 yards with one TD and four picks in 2018.

The Eagles obviously hope Wentz — whom they signed to a massive extension this offseason — can remain healthy for what appears to be a Super Bowl-caliber roster. But with only rookie Clayton Thorson left at the position, they felt the need to add a more experienced option in McCown.

Oh, and now it’s time to update the family uniform collection.

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