AJ McCarron open to anything in free agency

Oct 5 2017 Cleveland OH USA New York Yankees starting pitcher Jaime Garcia pitches during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game one of the 2017 ALDS at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 5 2017 Cleveland OH USA New York Yankees starting pitcher Jaime Garcia pitches during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game one of the 2017 ALDS at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, McCarron won the grievance and will be an unrestricted free agent this NFL offseason. "But Cincinnati didn't add McCarron to its active roster until December 9, meaning it was too late for him to accrue a season toward his free agency".

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier this week that the grievance involved one question: Did the Bengals have a proper medical basis for putting McCarron on the non-football injury list to start the 2014 season?

McCarron was taken by the Bengals in the fifth round (164th overall) of the 2014 draft out of Alabama, and emerged with shoulder tightness in May, which caused him to sit out of organized team activities.

McCarron now joins Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees in an appealing group of free-agent quarterbacks - though it's highly unlikely Brees will leave New Orleans.

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All that competition is likely to drive up the price of a man who has started just three regular season games and one playoff game. For a franchise selecting first overall for the second straight year - and in the top-2 for a third consecutive offseason - it would be almost unfathomable for Cleveland to once again pass on a quarterback at the top of the draft. Whoever Minnesota ultimately decides to stick with as their franchise signal-caller, they will need a solid backup in case their injuries woes continue at the position. A starting-caliber QB is now on the market. "That's all I want".

Then there was also the failed trade, which would have sent McCarron to Cleveland previous year. It's the Jimmy Garoppolo/Tom Brady situation except the other side of the argument is Andy Dalton. However, Cousins insists he wants to play for a contender, making it possible he would show flexibility with his cap number in the first two years of the contract.

Teams like the Browns, Jets, Cardinals, Broncos, and maybe even the Jaguars are going to be actively looking for new quarterbacks.

During his four seasons, McCarron has appeared in only 11 games, a lot of them in the final minutes with a lopsided score. He played in three games coming off the bench this past season, completing 7 of 14 passes.

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