Quarterback AJ McCarron took a pay reduce — from $4 million to $60,000 — so his sons might watch him play within the XFL as a substitute of sitting on a bench within the NFL

  • AJ McCarron, a former Alabama star quarterback, is now a participant within the rebooted XFL spring league.
  • McCarron says he handed on being a backup within the NFL so his sons might watch him play.
  • Dwayne Johnson praised the transfer, saying it meant quite a bit to him personally.

AJ McCarron is now throwing footballs within the rebooted XFL spring league, and whereas some would possibly take a look at it as a step backward, the quarterback sees it as an enormous alternative for him and his sons on a private stage.

The previous Alabama Crimson Tide star led the St. Louis Battlehawks to a 7-3 file, simply lacking the playoffs whereas beginning 9 video games. Regardless of lacking one sport, McCarron was second within the league with 2,150 yards, led the XFL with 24 landing passes, with simply six interceptions.

After one sport early within the season, an emotional McCarron spoke about his choice to take a spot within the XFL over an opportunity to earn more money by persevering with his profession as a backup within the NFL.

“Ever since I got here out of school, I have been sort of counted out a bit bit,” he advised ESPN. “It is simply enjoyable to return out right here and play. I missed enjoying. Not at all times simply being a backup — and that is an amazing residing, it truly is, and I completely like it — however I like enjoying. That is particular, and I am unable to thank the XFL sufficient.”

McCarron led Alabama to 2 nationwide championships, in 2012 and 2013, after which spent six years as a backup within the NFL earlier than injuring his knee in a 2021 preseason sport. He sat out for 2021 and 2022 earlier than signing with the XFL.

Earlier than the season, he talked extra about his choice to maneuver to the XFL, saying it was pushed partly by his wanting his three sons to have the ability to see him play as a substitute of simply standing on an NFL sideline.

“My 6-year-old loves watching tape of me on YouTube. That is an enormous motive I selected to return this manner,” McCarron advised the St. Louis Submit-Dispatch. “I in all probability might’ve tried to return again with an NFL group and had an opportunity to in all probability made greater cash, however nobody is aware of what the long run holds. I am having fun with this, and it is a good way to create some reminiscences for me and my boys.”

This earned particular reward from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who was a part of a bunch that bought the XFL for $15 million in 2020 and revived the league.

“Takes much less cash signing with us over the @NFL as a result of he needed his little boys to see him play,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Now he is 2-0 and led his group to again to again thrilling final minute wins. I would say he is creating some reminiscences for his boys. AJ’s choice means a helluva lot to me, personally.”

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson talking to the gang earlier than an XFL sport.

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photographs



McCarron made $15.6 million throughout his time within the NFL with 5 groups, together with $4 million in his final full season.

Within the XFL, McCarron is anticipated to make about $60,000 per season, with a wage of $5,000 every week and $1,000 bonuses for every win, based on ESPN.

Whereas McCarron is worked up that his sons will see him play, he is a bit nervous about enjoying in entrance of his mother once more, particularly with the gamers mic’d up throughout video games.

“I really feel dangerous for my mother, who I am positive can be texting me about this or that dangerous phrase that I say throughout the sport,” McCarron advised the Submit-Dispatch. “Hopefully there is a bleep button.”


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