McCarron, 27, has four starts in his NFL career: three in the regular season and one in the playoffs. But all of those appearances came at the end of the 2015 season when Andy Dalton suffered a broken thumb. McCarron wasn’t called into action at all in 2014 or 2016, and threw just 14 passes in 2017.
The pay difference in a fully guaranteed deal is mostly cosmetic at this point, but the shift in freedom near the end of the contract is a win for players moving forward and could affect future negotiations.
In the NFC North — and really, close to the entire NFL — Rodgers has been the golden standard for quarterback play.
But now he’s the third-highest paid player in his division behind Cousins and Stafford.
A new contract from the Green Bay Packers is likely on the way this offseason and there’s no reason for Rodgers to ask for anything less than what Cousins just received.
Cousins is a quarterback who doesn’t have nearly the career accomplishments of Rodgers or Ryan.
With the new Vikings’ signing setting a new standard, contract negotiations could become much less muddy if the top-tier quarterbacks refuse to settle for anything less than a fully guaranteed deal.
After all, if the Bears were going to lose with Glennon and a lousy supporting cast, anyway, getting Trubisky some much-needed game experience made far more sense in building toward the future.
The Cardinals did not display such foresight at quarterback in the previous four years under then-head coach Bruce Arians. Only one QB, 2014 fourth-round pick Logan Thomas, was drafted in that span even though Arizona knew the clock was ticking on a quickly aging Carson Palmer.
Logan wasn’t just a washout. He isn’t even playing the position anymore, having converted to tight end in salvaging his NFL career with Buffalo.
Arizona’s two backups in 2017, journeymen Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert, also showed no signs of being capable replacements for Palmer when they got to play as the latter ended his career on injured reserve.