The Wild AJ McCarron Case

It’s been an easy couple of days for the National Football League seeing as the Super Bowl is over and there’s still some time before the Combine and Draft fever picks up. So I haven’t been focusing that much on the NFL instead choosing to focus on the NBA Trade Deadline and the impending NHL trade deadline. But then a headline caught my eye today saying that AJ McCarron has won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and I couldn’t click fast enough.

But just in case you’re just like me, let me bring you up to speed on what’s been going on with AJ McCarron and the Bengals. AJ McCarron was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 Draft after a decent career at Alabama, he was good enough coming out of college (leading Alabama to back-to-back Championships) that he could’ve easily slipped into the starter role given the right playbook and coaching staff. But with the Bengals they have Andy Dalton who has decent talent. But yet McCarron rode the bench and was put on the Non-Football Injury list in 2014 for all but three games that season and thus means that McCarron hasn’t played the full four seasons needed to become an unrestricted free agent. So McCarron filed a grievance with the NFL.

Which brings us to today where McCarron won his grievance against the Bengals and will become an unrestricted free agent, which opens him up to the market where teams will do anything to have a guy that they can mold into a starter. Instead of what would’ve happened otherwise where McCarron wouldn’t have a say in where he plays next year and would most likely be used in a trade scenario to get out of Cincinnati. And to make it even sweeter the Bengals have to pay McCarron his salary for that year with interest.

So now the question is where will McCarron land? The Denver Broncos need a starting QB so do the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. This announcement also opens up the free agent market because before today’s announcement the most notable names on the list were Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins (possibly Nick Foles). Here is where I would drop some serious knowledge about where McCarron would flourish and be the missing piece of the puzzle, but since McCarron hasn’t taken that many snaps for me to really have a good answer. And really I’m torn between the Broncos and Cardinals as to where I think he’d fit best. I guess we will just have to wait and see which team scoops McCarron up and then the true test will come next fall.


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