In the sporting world, the term “bust” is often used to describe players who make so much impact early on in their careers but go on to fizzle out several years down the line. One person that would be certainly hoping that he does not end up in this class of infamy is none other than AJ McCarron.
Coming out of his playing days at the University of Alabama, AJ was one of the most successful quarterbacks ever in the history of college football. He led his school to two consecutive BCS National Championships, thus making history as the only quarterback to achieve such feat. He also emerged one of the winningest QBs in college football history, leading his team to 36 victories in 39 matches as a starter.
Given all these exploits, McCarron was simply expected to set the NFL on fire when he eventually turned pro but that dream has thus far failed to materialize. The quarterback, however, keeps on working hard and has got a supportive family to cheer him on.
The Ski Accident that Nearly cost Him His Life
AJ McCarron was born Raymond Anthony McCarron Jr. on the 13th of September, 1990 in Mobile, Alabama. One day in August of 1996, when he was just five years old, he went on a ski trip with his father and a cousin to the Dog River. That fun outing, however, turned to be the stuff of nightmares as the trio was involved in a ski accident that almost claimed AJ’s life.
The young boy had grabbed onto the handlebars of the boat after they had hit a buoy. This act made the Jet Ski spin out of control and his father threw him and his cousin onto a nearby pier so that they would not be injured. AJ nevertheless sustained grievous injuries and the prognosis of the doctors was blindness, mental developmental problems, and most likely death. The little boy, however, beat the odds and regained his full health.
Leading Alabama to Consecutive BCS National Championships
Having gotten this second chance at life, AJ McCarron spent his childhood years indulging in his love for football. He continued playing throughout his days at St. Paul’s Episcopal School and in his junior year, led his team to the state championship title following a win against the Briarwood Christian School. This feat fetched him an invite to the US Army All-American Bowl. It also earned him several athletic scholarships offers and he decided to go for the University of Alabama.
AJ McCarron spent a total of five years at Alabama, 2009-2013, during which he consolidated his status as one of the best college players ever. Following a first-year redshirt, AJ was largely used as a substitute in his second year and returned 3 TDs and 389 yards. He was then upgraded to first string QB for the 2011 season and he went on to tally an astonishing 2,634 yards and 16 TDs as he helped the Crimson Tide to the BCS national championship. AJ repeated this championship-winning feat in his 4th year and by his final year, he set the record for most seasonal passing yards in his school’s history.
AJ McCarron’s Four Year Stint with the Cincinnati Bengals
Following his collegiate exploits, many scouts tipped AJ McCarron to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. These projections failed to see the light of day as he was eventually selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the draft. Many wondered why the Alabama alum had fallen this low in the draft and analysts pointed out that it was due to his arrogant attitude which threw many teams off.
Unperturbed by the whole saga, McCarron joined up with his new teammates and set his sights on making an impact during his rookie season. It was however not to be as he suffered from a shoulder problem which kept him out of play for the entire season. The Alabama native came back in 2015 but his playing time was restricted to just seven games.
The situation further deteriorated in 2016 (just one game) and 2017 (just three games), and McCarron filed a grievance against the Bengals. He applied to be allowed to become an unrestricted free agent and seek playing opportunities elsewhere. This application was later accepted and he gained the status of unrestricted free agent
Moving from Oakland Raiders to Houston Texans
Following his release from the Bengals, AJ McCarron joined the Buffalo Bills on a two-year contract in March 2018. He could however only manage just two pre-season games for the Bills before they traded him to the Oakland Raiders in September that same year.
McCarron spent one season at Oakland Raiders during which he served as the backup to starting QB, Derek Carr. He was brought on as a substitute in two regular-season games and returned just 8 yards and zero touchdowns for them. The Alabama native is presently with the Houston Texans. He joined the franchise in March 2019 and is looking to resurrect his fledgling fortunes there.
His Earnings Since Joining the NFL
AJ McCarron currently plays for the Houston Texans where he is on a one-year contract which is worth$ 4 million and would pay him an annual salary of $2 million as well as $2 million in signing bonuses for the 2020 season.
Previously, the Alabama native was on a two-year contract worth $10 million that he signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2018. That contract, however, ran for just one year during which he earned half the amount according to spotrac estimates.
McCarron’s rookie contract was a four-year deal worth $2.4 million in 2014 and it paid him an average of about 600K per annum. It, therefore, means that the quarterback has made about $10.4 million in career earnings since joining the NFL. His overall net worth is meanwhile estimated at $3 million.
AJ McCarron’s Supportive Family Network
AJ McCarron’s parents are Deedee Bonner and Tony McCarron. He is one of the two children that his parents had together before getting divorced. The other is his younger brother, Corey. Corey is also a college football player and plays fullback for Middle Tennessee State.
AJ is presently building his own family with a former beauty queen/model, Katherine Webb. Webb is also a native of Alabama, specifically Montgomery, and was born in 1989. She has participated in several beauty pageants and won the Miss Alabama USA title in 2012. It was that same year that she and McCarron (then an Alabama football star) first met and started exchanging messages on Twitter.
They dated for two years before tying the knot on the 12th of July 2014. They got married in Alabama where they are both from. The couple now has two sons together. Their first, Tripp, was born on the 24th of May 2016 while their second, Cash Carter, was born on the 18th of December 2018. McCarron is a devoted family man and often shows off his loved ones on Instagram.