Teams are making moves at the quarterback position.
Sam Bradford is set to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. Kirk Cousins is headed to the Minnesota Vikings. Case Keenum is moving on to the Denver Broncos. Teddy Bridgewater is getting his next chance with the NY Jets, who also re-signed Josh McCown and even Mike Glennon was signed, also by the Cardinals. The Bears added a backup, too, in Chase Daniel. Additionally, the Cleveland Browns already traded for Tyrod Taylor last week and elsewhere Ryan Fitzpatrick was re-signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to backup Jameis Winston.
But what’s going on with AJ McCarron? Where will the former Bengals backup quarterback land in free agency?
Top remaining free agent quarterbacks: AJ McCarron, Jay Cutler, Derek Anderson, Geno Smith, Tom Savage, Matt Cassel, Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, EJ Manuel, Chase Daniel— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 14, 2018
A.J. McCarron weeps.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 14, 2018
The music is slowing down, and AJ McCarron is still looking for a seat.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 13, 2018
The market is drying up for teams who need a starting quarterback and at this point, McCarron is likely going to land with a team who will view him as a backup. Maybe the only opening left to be the obvious starter upon signing is with the Buffalo Bills. But they seem ready to draft and play a rookie this season. Maybe McCarron can find a home with the Miami Dolphins. But that’s questionable, too.
McCarron won his free agency grievance in which argued he should be an unrestricted free agent as opposed to a restricted free agent, but it’s almost seeming like losing would have worked out better for him.
The Bengals are likely to now draft a backup quarterback or wait until later in the offseason to sign a veteran. Though, it’s possible if McCarron’s asking price becomes cheap enough, the team could bring him back. Right now, his agent is likely asking for more than teams want to pay as it’s not seeming like anyone wants to hand him the keys to become their starter. McCarron has said time and again that he wants a chance to be a starter and that was why he was excited to become an unrestricted free agent.
On Tuesday night, less than 24 hours before the official start to free agency kicks off, Benjamin Allbright started a rumor linking McCarron to the Patriots.
Keep an eye on the Patriots for AJ McCarron if the price is right.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 14, 2018
There’s not much of substance here (at least as far as I can tell) but maybe the Patriots will be interested in McCarron backing up Tom Brady. The problem is, will McCarron give up on his interest in wanting a chance to start? Because he’s not going to be starting over Brady as long as Brady is on the Patriots’ roster. At that point, would it be better for him to seek a return to the Bengals to be a backup?
McCarron seems like one of the biggest losers of the legal tampering period. Hopefully for him, his luck changes quickly. Free agents can officially sign with new teams starting on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET.