Arbitrator finds Bengals improperly placed A.J. McCarron on NFI

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The ruling from arbitrator Shyam Das that Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron represents the end of the road when it comes to McCarron’s effort to become an unrestricted free agent. As to the Bengals, it could be the beginning of a separate set of problems.

PFT has obtained a copy of the seven-page ruling in the case, which grants McCarron his freedom based on a finding that the Bengals improperly placed McCarron on the non-football injury list at the outset of the 2014 season.

The decision to keep McCarron on the NFI list to start the 2014 season came from Dr. Marc Galloway, who ultimately admitted that he kept McCarron on the NFI list not because Dr. Galloway believed McCarron couldn’t play football as of September 2014, but because Dr. Galloway “did not think it was in [McCarron’s] best long-term interest to play football in September.” Dr. Galloway admitted that, if McCarron had said he wants to play in September 2014, Galloway would have allowed him to play.

The arbitrator ultimately concluded that McCarron did not receive a medical examination before being placed on the NFI list, and that the evidence does not firmly establish that McCarron would have failed the exam. Indeed, by Dr. Galloway’s admission, McCarron would have passed it.

To put it simply and candidly, the Bengals stashed McCarron, a fifth-round rookie, behind starter Andy Dalton and veteran backup Jason Campbell. The next question becomes whether the Bengals will face any scrutiny for improperly utilizing the NFI list.

The broader question is whether and to what extent other teams are doing the same thing. The simple answers likely are “yes” and “plenty.”

39 responses to “Arbitrator finds Bengals improperly placed A.J. McCarron on NFI

  1. This is why you trade him for whatever you can get last year. And that near Browns trade was initiated by the Browns so the Bengals FO still screwed this up.

  2. If you are lucky enough to be an NFL player but unlucky enough to be playing in Ohio …good luck !

  3. I wonder if you did a list of infractions that receive little to no punishment and changed the perpetrators to “Belichick” and/or “Patriots” what would the average man on the street (outside of New England) thing the punishment should be? CertIainly millions of dollars in fines and lost draft picks, maybe “banishment from the league” or “one year suspensions”

  4. The NFL is crazy. AJ Mccarron is going to find himself something like the 4th highest paid player in the NFL or something. I think he’s started once. Maybe twice?

  5. Another great move by the Bengals not trading him – that 2nd or 3rd rounder would look a hell of a lot better than a potential late round compensatory pick (depending on how FA shakes out).

  6. Well now Cleveland can sign him without giving up a pick and probably get him for cheap because he’s a career backup with very little game film, except when Dalton was injured.

  7. I love the Eagles and think Roseman is a genius, but they literally do that about 2 times every year. You count on it like clock work. A late to mid round pick or udfa who would likely not make the 53 but they like an think will become a player with some season will always get hurt around the 3rd or 4th preseason game and go on IR. Every year us Eagles will look at 64-65 players as guys who will make the team. 53 active guys, 10 practice squad, and 1 or 2 I.R. rookies.

    Its not really “legal” but every team seems to do it and it only becomes a problem when a guy like McCarron wants to be a free agent. Most of the time these bottom of the roster guys are just happy to be on a team.

  8. Absurd ruling by Das. This is common practice in the NFL and most often benefits the team AND the player. If McCarron had a problem with it, he should’ve said something at the time.

  9. Eagles had Sidney Jones on NFI for his torn Achilles until week 13(He’ll be a RFA in 4 years) and stashed Donnell Pumphrey on IR with a “Hamstring”. This is the easiest way to stash fringe talent or young guys so you can maximize roster spots.

  10. This is a bit like Mike Glennon from a year ago in that Chicago overpaid big time $45M for 3 yr agreement with $18.5M guaranteed. Glennon was a long time backup QB who had never screwed up (like McCarron) but you don’t know what you really have as a starter until given the opportunity. Chicago had a bet each way and they now think they have their man in Trubisky.
    While AJ McCarron could see himself like Jimmy Garoppolo as a long time backup QB but he could turn out to be more like Mike Glennon.

  11. In August he will be suing the NFL because he doesn’t have a contract. Sorry AJ, you just aren’t pro material like most of the garbage that comes out of your school the past few years. Not your fault, but Saban only knows how to coach you for his college champs; has no idea what you need for the NFL.

    The number of busts from there is staggering.

    Oh and putting a guy on IR who is hurt to try to keep him isn’t illegal as long as he is hurt. But if you can’t sign him before the end of the year he’s a free agent.

  12. Another screw up by the Bengals. Should’ve given this guy a chance especially when the last two seasons were a lost cause with plenty of games left to go. If not they should’ve traded him for whatever they could get. Now they are getting nothing and possibly letting a better QB leave their team than what they currently have.

  13. xargscutgrep says:
    February 16, 2018 at 2:18 am
    Great, I was counting on 4 QBs going in the top 6 picks. 5 if the Browns had accidentally drafted 2 QBs.

    Best comment so far in 2018

  14. So funny…….all the Patriot fans yelling cheater…. The leagues biggest cheaters with nearly 2 decades of scandals are going to call out a Bengals for a dumb doctor stashing a player. LoL this happens all the time. But before you call anyone a cheater you need to look at your own team and don’t play that conspiracy theory crap cuz you know it’s true. Oh wait BTW you lost in the Super Bowl to the Eagles!!!!! Fly Eagles Fly!!!!!!

  15. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    February 16, 2018 at 5:29 am
    Some team will get penalized for this.
    It will be interesting to see which team Goodell decides to punish.

    Its why a team follows the rulebook to the letter every time on the assumtion everyone is waiting to pounce as soon as tanything can be found.

  16. Aj deserved to be a fa this year and I hope he lands in a good spot. The bengals tried to maneuver and it didn’t work out/ you think 31 other teams don’t do the same thin g with fring players? Oh and pats fans don’t even begin to say anythng with l of the endless dishonest and I underhanded crap you guys do and I’m being nice when I use those terms to describe your team too.

  17. Are they going to follow up and investigate Aaron Rodgers? He was placed on the IR with no new injury. He was physically capable of playing, but they stashed him on IR for an extra roster spot. Same situation.

    Every team does it to some extent. Most teams at least come up with a fake injury though. Aaron Rodgers had no injury. They just didn’t want him playing out the end of the season without the playoffs on the line.

  18. “tylawspick6 says:
    The bungles have been caught with real cheating. Actual, real cheating.

    Deceit and intention to hide for an advantage.”

    Just like the pats….

  19. hukdeep says:
    February 16, 2018 at 9:33 am
    “tylawspick6 says:
    The bungles have been caught with real cheating. Actual, real cheating.

    Deceit and intention to hide for an advantage.”

    Just like the pats….

    Except the NFL admitted they had no evidence. So no, not just like the Pats. And Walsh Admitted they never taped a walkthrough so , no, again.

  20. So, to the guy above who’s calling out Pats fans for whining and saying that “everyone does this even though it’s against the rules” – isn’t that what Spygate was? All teams filmed signals but the Pats did it from the wrong spot and were “caught” – which you all say makes them cheaters – so, aren’t the Bengals and Packers also cheaters then?

    Or are you just a bunch of hypocrites who only say it’s cheating when it involves the Pats?

  21. Never let the facts get in the way of a good internet argument. Bengals filed for an extension to the league on the NFI. The league granted the extension and the Bengals used the extension. The league itself is guilty if anything.

    McCarron filed a grievance over 3 years later, which in any normal labor agreement would have been rejected. Good for him, he got one over on the league for a crappy CBA.

    Actions by the league twice resulted in the situation, so maybe Roger should fine himself.

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