Some would say that the Bengals, now faced with A.J. McCarron becoming an unrestricted free agent, should choose McCarron over Andy Dalton. Apart from the team’s assessment of the two guys as players, there’s an important factor that is even more important to the Bengals, given that they are extremely careful with money.
Dalton’s deal averages $16 million per year, and he’ll make $13.9 million this year in salary and workout bonus. McCarron will at least average $16 million on the open market, and he’ll get considerably more than $13.9 million in 2018.
Is he worth it, you ask? We’re all worth whatever someone will pay and if the 49ers will pay Jimmy Garoppolo $27.5 million for seven inconsequential career starts, what will someone pay to a quarterback who started three meaningful regular-season games and a playoff game that, based on McCarron’s efforts, the Bengals should have won.
So, yes, McCarron will get paid. A lot. And people who don’t follow football closely will be shocked. Those who do won’t be.
There aren’t enough good quarterbacks to go around, and McCarron is good enough to get paid more than $16 million per year.