The Cincinnati Bengals have found a backup quarterback to replace AJ McCarron. On Saturday, the team signed Matt Barkley to a two-year deal that’s expected to have a cap hit of $1.4 million in 2018, per Bengals.com.
The move gives the Bengals three quarterbacks heading into offseason workouts, two of whom are healthy. The Bengals just lost AJ McCarron in free agency as he signed a two-year deal of his own with the Buffalo Bills. Jeff Driskel, who has been on the team for the last two years will also compete for the backup job, though he currently has a broken hand that’s healing up.
Barkley worked with Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor when he was on the Eagles and Lazor was quarterbacks coach in 2013. Barkley was a fourth round pick out of USC and went on to spend the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Eagles before moving on to the Cardinals to backup Carson Palmer. In 2016 he moved on to the Bears and then in 2017 went back to the Cardinals. In that span he has thrown 266 passes, 159 of which have been caught (59.8%) for 1,911 yards, 8 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and has been sacked 9 times. That’s good for a 63.7 passer rating.
Barkley serves pretty much no threat to quarterback Andy Dalton who he’ll be backing up. Interestingly though, Barkley told Bengals.com that he and Dalton are friends and their wives are, too. They’ve gone to quarterback camps together and worked with quarterback guru Tom House at USC together as well.
The Bengals could still draft a backup quarterback to compete with him and Driskel to make the roster in 2018.
“Just watching tape last year of what Cincy was doing last year, a lot of it is familiar. A lot of the same things are going around the league,” Barkley told Bengals.com. “What they’re bringing as staff and how they’re putting plays together and creating mismatches, it’s going to be a successful offense with all the weapons this team has.”
Was this a good move for the Bengals? Prior to drafting McCarron in 2014 the Bengals did favor having veteran backups as opposed to young players on their rookie deal at the backup quarterback position.
I've signed with the @Bengals! Can't wait to start this next chapter of my football journey #WhoDey— Matt Barkley (@MattBarkley) March 17, 2018
Do you approve of the Bengals’ decision to sign QB Matt Barkley?
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