A versatile tight end who is a strong pass-blocker with good hands, McGrath played in all 16 games and made five starts for the Chargers in 2016. It was a significant contribution from a player who just few years ago voluntarily walked away from the game.
McGrath originally came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie with the Seahawks in 2012. He earned a spot on the practice squad and late that year was elevated to the active roster as the Seahawks advanced to the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
The following September, after being waived by Seattle, McGrath was claimed by the Chiefs, and he blossomed in Kansas City. He played in all 16 games in 2013 and started nine, catching 26 passes for 302 yards and a pair of scores.
Fast forward to 2014 and McGrath’s demeanor as he reported to the Chiefs’ training camp at Missouri Western had changed dramatically. Instead of checking into the dorms and joining his Chiefs teammates, McGrath instead met with Head Coach Andy Reid and General Manager John Dorsey and informed them that he had decided to retire from the NFL. A studio art major in college, McGrath decided that he was going to hang up his cleats and return to Henderson State to finish his master’s degree. And with that, McGrath spent the 2014 year out of football.
The itch to play returned and McGrath signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. He earned a spot on Indianapolis’ practice squad at the start of the season, and after being released, he signed with the Chargers. McGrath spent five weeks on the Bolts’ practice squad before being elevated to the active roster for the 2015 season finale.
McGrath lists disc golf and yoga among his hobbies. He is known around the NFL for his trademark beard. When he played in Kansas City, teammates simply referred to him as “The Beard.” McGrath’s beard even has its own twitter handle @Beard_O_McGrath.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with Seattle as undrafted free agent, May 11, 2012...waived Aug. 31...re-signed to Seahawks’ practice squad, Sept. 2...released Sept. 3...re-signed to Seahawks’ practice squad, Sept. 8...released Sept. 27...re-signed to Seahawks’ practice squad Oct. 2...signed to Seahawks’ active roster, Dec. 18...waived Aug. 31, 2013...claimed by Kansas City, Sept. 1...waived April 15, 2015...signed with Indianapolis, June 3...waived Sept. 5...re-signed to Colts’ practice squad, Sept. 23...released Oct. 5...re-signed to Colts’ practice squad, Oct. 21...released Oct. 26...signed to Chargers’ practice squad Nov. 10...released Nov. 21...re-signed to Chargers’ practice squad, Nov. 24...signed to Chargers’ active roster, Dec. 28.
2016: Team Captain Nov. 27 at Houston.
2015: Inactive for Chargers’ Jan. 3 season finale at Denver.
2014: Spent year out of football.
2013: First two NFL catches Sept. 15 at Dallas...season-high five catches and 64 yards along with first NFL touchdown (five yards) for 7-0 lead in 31-7 win vs. N.Y. Giants...season-long 25-yard catch Oct. 6 at Tennessee...six-yard TD catch for 49-31 lead in 56-31 win at Oakland Dec. 15.
2012: NFL debut Dec. 23 vs. San Francisco...saw action in Wild Card win at Washington Jan. 6 and Divisional loss at Atlanta Jan. 13.
COLLEGE: First-team All-Gulf South Conference and first-team Daktronics All-Region as junior...played two seasons (2010-11) at Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark., catching 61 passes for 717 yards and four touchdowns...played three seasons (2006-08) at Eastern Illinois, catching 28 passes for 301 yards and three TDs...redshirted in 2009...studio art degree.
PERSONAL: Born in Mundelein, Ill. ...All-East Suburban Catholic and all-area at Carmel Catholic High in Mundelein...played on 2003 IHSA 6A state title team that went 13-0...honorable mention all-area in basketball...member National Honor Society.