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McCareins in November 2008
|No. 86, 81, 19|
|Date of birth:||December 1, 1978|
|Place of birth:||Itasca, Illinois|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2001 / Round: 4 / Pick: 124|
|Career NFL statistics|
Justin Morgan McCareins (born December 1, 1978) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He also played for the New York Jets. He played college football at Northern Illinois.
McCareins attended Peacock Middle School located in Itasca, Illinois. He would first attended Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois for one semester before transferring to Naperville North High School where he was a teammate of future NFL running back Chris Brown. McCareins played college football at Northern Illinois University. He is the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, and has the longest reception in school history on a 99-yard touchdown catch vs Ball State. He was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame during the Huskies game against Kent State on Oct. 8, 2011.
First stint with Titans
McCareins was drafted in the 4th round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Titans. In 2003, McCareins had a career year with the Tennessee Titans compiling 813 yards receiving along with 7 touchdowns and 47 receptions, adding one rush for 13 yards. He played an important role for the Titans, especially in their 2002-2003 playoff campaign, setting up the game winning field goal in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers by catching 31-yard and 22-yard passes from quarterback Steve McNair to set up Joe Nedney's game winning field goal. He is also one of only five players since the franchise moved to Tennessee to return a punt for a touchdown.
After the 2003 season, he was traded to the New York Jets.
New York Jets
McCareins signed a 7-year, $30 million contract with the New York Jets after the 2003 season. McCareins had a successful first year with the Jets in 2004, catching 56 passes for 770 yards and 4 touchdowns, which placed him second on the team in receiving. McCareins also had 13 catches for 169 yards in the 2004 playoffs for the Jets. Despite catching only 43 passes in 2005, he still racked up 713 yards for the Jets, his third straight 700+ yard season.
The Jets released him after the 2007 season, the 4th year on his 7-year contract. McCareins finished 26th on the Jets all-time receiving list.
Return to Tennessee
On March 12, 2008, McCareins re-joined the Titans on a one-year, $1 million contract after four seasons with the Jets. On September 21, 2008, McCareins caught a 17-yard pass from quarterback Kerry Collins, making Collins only the 15th player in NFL history to pass for over 30,000 yards. McCareins has the 35th most receiving yards in Titans franchise history with 1614 yards and has the 8th highest yards per catch average (minimum 50 catches) in Titans franchise history, averaging 16.4 yards per catch. He would fumble just four times in his four years in Tennessee, and his 10.9 yards per punt return places his 5th in franchise history (minimum 35 returns).
McCareins now lives with his family in Plano, Texas, following a brief career in law-enforcement.