Bengals QB AJ McCarron wins grievance, will be unrestricted free agent


McCarron's sample size is a bit small considering all that happened since he was taken with the 164th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. "I was going to be blessed either way because you're still in the league, you're still being able to play the game for a living, but it's just awesome just to be free now and to hopefully get that opportunity and be able to compete somewhere".

There is also the Bengals-Vikings connection with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer being a defensive coordinator in Cincinnati from 2008 to 2013, although paths were never crossed with McCarron. Instead, the Bengals kept him on the NFI list with a shoulder injury and didn't activate him until December 9, and he wasn't credited for service time needed for an accrued season (six regular-season games are needed).

McCarron challenged the Bengals' decision to put him on a non-football injury list his rookie year of 2014, when the fifth-round pick had a sore passing shoulder.

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The free-agent quarterback class just got more interesting. He did return to participate in minicamp before being placed on the NFI list before training camp.

Probably the top team on the list to watch for McCarron will be the Cleveland Browns, who attempted to acquire him via trade previous year, only to have an issue with paperwork prevent it. "I'm just doing what they say". The Bengals contended he should be under contract for an additional season in 2018.

Then there was also the failed trade, which would have sent McCarron to Cleveland previous year. "That's all I want, but it's out of my control. That's just being a competitor".