There will be no deadline this time, thank goodness for the Browns.
Quarterback AJ McCarron, whom Cleveland just missed trading for at the Oct. 31 trade deadline last season, has entered free agency after winning his grievance Thursday against the Bengals.
McCarron’s contract status with the Bengals was in question since he began his rookie season in 2014 on the non-football injury list after signing a four-year, $2.4 million contract. He filed a labor grievance against the team in November, claiming his rookie year should be counted toward unrestricted free agency since he was physically well enough to play.
McCarron’s Cincinnati departure comes as a relief to him and his wife, Katherine Webb-McCarron, who were both supportive of the near move to the Browns, where the 27-year-old likely would have become the starter right away. McCarron has served as Andy Dalton’s backup the past four seasons, playing his only meaningful games in 2015 when Dalton fractured his thumb in mid-December. He completed 66 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions in seven games.
Webb-McCarron portrayed Thursday’s decision as a milestone for her husband, who she said has grown over his four years on the bench and now is better prepared for his starting chance.
“AJ likes to not always go with the crowd, and do or say the most popular things. Such as expressing gratitude when we almost were traded to Cleveland,” she wrote in a long Instagram tribute. “Competitiveness and leadership lives deep down in his soul, so he would have loved nothing more than the opportunity to try and help change an organization around and get them a win, while showing his talent.
“No matter if it was the Browns or somewhere else. I can’t wait for him to get his chance to show the world his talent and his leadership. He was born for this. Any organization would be lucky to get this man and I truly feel this way. These past 4 years weren’t a waste at all. It was undeniably meant to happen this way so that he could be prepared for the next chapter.”
McCarron enters a free-agent market ripe with quarterbacks and teams in need of them. Even with Jimmy Garoppolo off the table, after he signed a record deal earlier this month to stay with the 49ers, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and most likely Kirk Cousins will all be available. The Redskins are expected to either let Cousins go after trading for the Chiefs’ Alex Smith on Jan. 30 or place the franchise tag on him and facilitate a trade.
Enter the Browns, who are desperate for a reliable signal-caller and will get another chance at McCarron after the trade blunder heard ’round the NFL world. McCarron was reportedly on his way to Cleveland in October, in exchange for a couple of draft picks, until the Browns sent their paperwork into the NFL too late to make the deal a reality.
McCarron recently explained the confusion from his perspective and said he was disappointed not to give the Browns, who wound up 0-16, a chance to win.
“As a competitor, I wanted that opportunity, just to be able to showcase and help a team win ball games,” McCarron said last month about the near deal. “I think I would have had some success playing for [head coach] Hue [Jackson]. I would have loved the opportunity to go up there and get them a win, more than one win. As a competitor, that’s all you can ask for.”
This news collected from :Source link