The AJ McCarron trade speculation continues with the help of McCarron himself.
With several NFL clubs desperate for a quarterback, McCaron's trade value looks to be higher than ever. But rumors of a potential trade at this point are complete speculation. There's still no indication of Cincinnati wanting to trade away its backup quarterback, who is one of the best backups in football. There are plenty of reasons for the Bengals to keep McCarron but that doesn't stop the speculation.
McCarron already talked about the possibility of being traded in an interview with Yahoo Sports, but on Thursday, he addressed the rumors again in an interview with WNSP-FM 105.5 in Mobile, Alabama. McCarron was asked whether he'd like to remain Cincinnati's backup or find a new home as the starting quarterback of a quarterback-needy team.
"The best thing for me is to stay in this present time," the former Alabama quarterback said. "I am thankful for the opportunity I have right now. Of course, I want to play. What quarterback doesn't? The way I look at it, God has a plan. Whatever happens is going to happen. He is going to set things up. I expect to be in Cincinnati. I understand my name is out there, but I don't know what other teams are looking to do. I'm taking it day by day and enjoying the moment."
Several teams are still looking for a quarterback, and McCarron would fit the bill for plenty of them. But the quarterback still has two years left on his rookie contract, and the Bengals would likely want to retain him in case Andy Dalton suffers another injury. The media has pinned the Broncos, Rams and Jets, among others, as potential landing spots for McCarron.
"I let my agent handle all of that," McCarron said Thursday. "I always talk to our offensive coordinator (Ken Zampese). I have always been close with him being our quarterback coach the past two years. We stay in touch a pretty good bit. I really let my agent Todd France deal with that. Whenever he calls me with news or whatever, I just listen up. Other than that, that's his job. That's what he gets paid for."
McCarron made sure to emphasize that his focus is currently on the Bengals.
"Andy's our guy," he explained. "My job is to go in and compete, to push him to make him better."
McCarron also showed enthusiasm when talking about his relationship with his wife, Katherine Webb, and future son, who the couple is expecting in May
"I'm really pumped," McCarron said. "We're having a baby boy. He's getting big. He's already at 5 pounds. We still have a ways to go. Hopefully, he's close to a 10-pound baby. That would be nice. Our family has bigger babies."
"Momma's doing great. She's doing awesome, beautiful as ever. It's going great. We're loving life."
The Bengals likely won't trade McCarron this season, and there are plenty of reasons why. First off, McCarron is a quality backup quarterback. With Andy Dalton coming off his first NFL injury, it would be smart to keep an insurance policy around, especially when he doesn't cost much. Second, the quarterback's trade value will likely get higher with time, assuming he isn't forced to come in and play in relief of Dalton and underperforms, a very unlikely scenario.
Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, trading McCarron now makes no sense. In addition to the fact that Cincinnati has a capable backup quarterback, the team is set to receive potentially four compensatory draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. There would be no sense in trading McCarron for yet another 2017 draft pick when the team will likely have up to 12 or 13 selections. That's already enough selections that the Bengals could end up trading some of those away, so why would the team trade for another draft pick with the knowledge that it will have to trade that selection, or another selection, away? I've been a proponent of a potential trade in the past, and I'm still open to trading McCarron in 2017, but trading McCarron before the end of the 2016 season just doesn't make sense for the Bengals.