Bengals QB AJ McCarron’s free agency ruling expected this week
Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron will find out this week the ruling on his filed grievance against the team, and in turn, what his free-agent status this offseason will be.
Per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk, McCarron is contesting the Bengals’ decision to place him on the non-football injury list after hurting his shoulder during his rookie season. The NFI list is only for injuries suffered away from the team. That decision is significant since a year on the NFI list would make him a restricted free agent this offseason as opposed to an unrestricted free agent.
As he intimated with his comments about wanting to be traded to the Browns last year, McCarron appears to be ready to leave Cincinnati in search of a better opportunity to play. That’s likely why he’s filed his grievance. If the arbitrator rules in his favor and he becomes unrestricted, the Bengals could once again attempt to trade him this offseason.
McCarron should find interest around the league given the constant demand for quality quarterbacks. The 27-year-old has made just 11 appearances with three starts since being drafted by the Bengals in 2014 as he’s been stuck as the primary backup to Andy Dalton.
McCarron had a glittering career in college, winning three national championships as the starting quarterback for Alabama. He’s yet to find that type of success in the NFL, but if the decision goes his way, he could take one step closer toward finally getting that opportunity he has waited a long time for.