It looks like AJ McCarron isn't leaving Cincinnati anytime soon.
Despite the recent chatter that the Bengals backup quarterback may offer significant value in terms of a trade, it does not appear he'll be pried from the team this offseason. During the NFL Owners meeting in Boca Raton, Florida on Monday, head coach Marvin Lewis told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio that a trade for McCarron is not happening.
If any team is thinking of making a trade offer for Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron, Marvin Lewis has some advice: Save your breath.
Lewis told PFT’s Mike Florio at today’s league meeting that if a team calls with an offer for McCarron, the Bengals will respectfully decline.
Here's the thing: This is a true statement by Lewis...until it isn't.
By that, I mean just about any trade teams are willing to consider for McCarron are going to be rebuffed because none of them will be the kind of value the Bengals have placed on McCarron. There probably isn't a team willing to give up anything more than a low second-round draft pick (think Denver sitting at 63rd overall).
Speaking of the Broncos, it does not appear they're even interested in McCarron, at least not publically.
John Elway if he's called Bengals on McCarron: no— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 21, 2016
Any interest: no— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 21, 2016
There's no doubt Broncos general manager John Elway is looking for another quarterback, or two, to add to Denver's roster, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the team show interest in McCarron at some point, even if Elway isn't willing to admit it right now.
You can't blame the Bengals for thinking McCarron has an unmatchable value after he became the team's starting quarterback during the final four and three quarters games during the 2015 season and performed admirably in relief of Andy Dalton.
But that doesn't mean McCarron can't be had. Even Dalton could be had...if a team was willing to give up a lifetime of first-round picks for him. Anyone in the NFL can be bought, but no team is obviously willing to go that far and, it's no surprise that Lewis would be apprehensive to admit he's willing to trade McCarron, as that could lower his value.
So while McCarron could probably be pried from the Bengals for a first-round pick or two, no one is currently offering that. Lewis knows that, and that's why he knows any trade offer made for McCarron will be respectfully declined.
It looks like it's time to put the McCarron trade talk to rest... At least for now.