A.J. McCarron free agency ruling expected this week

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Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron is set to find out his status for the offseason this week.

McCarron is challenging the Bengals’ decision to place him on the non-football injury list during his rookie season. McCarron hurt his shoulder and a year on the NFI list would mean that he’s a restricted free agent this offseason rather than an unrestricted one.

The NFI list is only for injuries suffered away from the team and McCarron has filed a grievance that is expected to be ruled on by an arbitrator on Wednesday.

If McCarron does hit the open market, he will likely draw a fair amount of interest from the teams addressing the quarterback position this offseason. If the arbitrator rules in favor of the Bengals, McCarron could hit the trade block after he was nearly dealt to the Browns before the trading deadline last year.

17 responses to “A.J. McCarron free agency ruling expected this week

  1. Its doubtful the ruling will be in his favor. It would establish a precedent which would not favor the teams stashing a player on IR as a “redshirt” rookie. Victor Cruz anyone?

  2. He was pretty good in his starts. Amazing how much QB’s get paid because there are only 15 that can elevate a team to a super bowl. Or get lucky and have a lights out D like the Ravens and the Bears with a crappy QB.

    Since there are only 15 teams, it’s kind of ridiculous to have all this ‘save the QB’ rules to protect them. They’re supposed to be football players. They all are world class atheltes that played basketball, tennis, baseball among many other sports.

    If one of the golden 15 got hurt (like Wentz) see what the 33rd best QB did? Great D and played like a top 15.

    Make it fair game again.

  3. The Bengals still love the Red Rocket and see AJ as just his backup (they also embrace mediocrity and are scared to make changes). AJ just wants the chance to play some football.

  4. blowfishes says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:12 am
    Why didn’t this get raised as a major issue by McCarron, his agent or the Players’ Union back during his rookie season?

    I’m sure at the time they weren’t thinking 4 years down the road…

  5. He has almost zero NFL stats. A team will actually try and sign him as a starter? More likely, he’s one of those guys that is out of the NFL quickly when given the chance to start. Sometimes it’s better to be a backup for 10 years than prove you can’t play.

  6. It all depends on whether the Browns send the Bengals compensation or not. Regardless, I think McCarron ends up the starting QB for the Browns in 2018. This will not stop them from taking a QB #1 or #4 overall, but AJ will be that bridge QB that will keep the rookie off the field for the year or two of tutelage/seasoning he needs before he takes the reins. AJ has something to prove. I read somewhere that some in the Bengals FO/coaching staff feel AJ is better than Dalton, which isn’t saying much, but says enough. He’s ready… Plus, he’s a QB Hue wants. If Hue and the coaching staff fail him, they can move both without much fanfare or issue.

  7. conormacleod says: “Sometimes it’s better to be a backup for 10 years than prove you can’t play.”
    —————-

    Said no athlete ever in the history of sports. Only losers don’t try.

  8. Interesting. He passed his rookie physical, so why was he placed on the NFI list? Apparently he had some “shoulder tightness” – which wouldn’t seem to be an issue to take him off the active roster for most of the season. This sure feels like a team trying to bend the rules to get an extra year of eligibility on their backup QB.

  9. If the Bengals have any brains at all, and that is very much in doubt after the Marvin Lewis extension. They would get McCarron signed and trade Dalton. It’s pretty clear that Dalton is not the QB they hoped he would be and while McCarron is a work in progress, from what I’ve seen he easily has the potential to be better than Dalton.
    But, given their history, the Bengals will muck this up. McCarron will end up in Cleveland and get the opportunity to beat Cincy twice a year for the foreseeable future.

  10. Tony Giarrusso says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:46 am
    blowfishes says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:12 am
    Why didn’t this get raised as a major issue by McCarron, his agent or the Players’ Union back during his rookie season?

    I’m sure at the time they weren’t thinking 4 years down the road…
    ————

    Plus, he was a 5th round pick who might not have made the team otherwise. Does anyone think it’s smart for someone in that situation to be a distraction?

  11. Just heard Jeff Driskel, slotted to be the new backup, broke his left arm at Week 17 practice
    . That really complicates things for the Bengals.

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