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AJ McCarron: I just have to wait for my time

The Bengals’ backup quarterback doesn’t want to be a backup quarterback, but, he’s still trying to be the “best guy” he can be for the team.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A week rarely goes by without some talk of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron’s trade potential. With draft week here, that talk is sure to heat up even more.

On Monday, the Cincinnati media had a chance to speak with McCarron on the subject of being traded and McCarron reiterated his stance that he’d like to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but, understands that his job is to backup Andy Dalton for the Bengals.

“I’m a huge competitor. I’ve always been that way. I want to play,” McCarron said via “But it’s something I can’t control. There’s no reason to worry about it because it spills into your life and it can affect your marriage and your relationships with people. I don’t want that. A lot of people wish they could be in my shoes and get the money we to get to play a game. I love it. I’m at peace with it.”

McCarron and the Bengals are also unsure of the quarterback’s contract with the team and whether he’ll be a restricted or unrestricted free agent in 2018. But, McCarron isn’t worrying about that.

“It is what it is,” he said. “That’s for the lawyers.”

It seems it will take arbitration to decide whether McCarron’s five games on the Bengals’ active roster in 2014 were enough to qualify for an NFL season (which is technically deemed as being active for 6+ games). By definition, it seems McCarron should be a restricted free agent in 2018, but, that’s still (officially) to be determined.

For now, McCarron understands his job on the Bengals’ roster as a backup quarterback and he’s willing to serve in that role to the best of his ability.

“That’s my job,” McCarron said of being a backup quarterback. “I’m trying to be the best guy I can be for this team. You always want your chance to play. It will happen. I just have to wait for my time. I believe that. I trust in my ability.”

If McCarron is to be traded, the most likely time for the trade would be during the 2017 NFL Draft. The draft begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

“It’s great to be wanted. It really is. I’ve learned a lot from my draft process,” McCarron said of his appreciation for the Bengals. “I didn’t have the best draft process and they took a chance on me and I’ve forever been grateful for that. I love this organization for taking the opportunity when a lot of people were passing on me and they believed in me.”