AJ McCarron Wins Grievance Against Bengals, Now an Unrestricted Free Agent


McCarron was previously slated to become a restricted free agent, but this now changes pretty much the entire dynamic here.

An arbitrator has ruled Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron will be an unrestricted free agent when the NFL's 2018 business year begins at 3 p.m. CST March 14. He will now have a chance to sign with any team in the league.

So McCarron, a 27-year-old who has said he wants to be a starter and is though to have a realistic chance of becoming one, now has the opportunity to sign with any team without any ties to the Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals at the trade deadline last season attempted to deal their backup quarterback, AJ McCarron, to the Cleveland Browns, and now they will wish that they had. That's three fewer games than McCarron would need for an accrued season, per National Football League rules. McCarron had spent most of that season on the Bengals' Non-Football Injury list due to a shoulder issue that impacted his throwing during Organized Team Activities, but the quarterback believed he could have come off the NFI list during training camp and that his activation was wrongfully delayed.

Oct 5 2017 Cleveland OH USA New York Yankees starting pitcher Jaime Garcia pitches during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game one of the 2017 ALDS at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
How AJ McCarron's grievance win impacts the 2018 NFL draft

McCarron has made it clear all along he wants to play. He wasn't activated until December and therefore did not accrue the necessary number of games for the season to officially count toward free agency. McCarron is now considered to have accrued four seasons, meaning he can hit the open market.

McCarron helped Cincinnati win two of its final three regular-season games (with the loss coming to eventual Super Bowl 50 champ Denver in overtime) to wrap up the AFC North title. Remember, the Cleveland Browns offered a reported second- and third-round pick to the Bengals at the trade deadline a year ago, which is more than the San Francisco 49ers gave up for Jimmy Garoppolo.

McCarron most recently started and played a full game on January 9, 2016, an AFC wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Romney Pushes Back Senate Announcement After Florida Shooting
Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who announced in January that he would not seek reelection this year, has done so for months. Foreign policy is one area where Romney could clash with Trump and join the ranks of Sen.