AJ McCarron is going to hit the free-agent market, and the former Alabama Crimson Tide star is going to have no shortage of suitors.
After winning a league case to become an unrestricted free agent, AJ McCarron is in line to get paid handsomely. Frankly, that prior sentence has more to do with his position than his stats, but the point remains. When the league year becomes official on March 14, McCarron will be closing in on a life-altering contract.
In his four years with the Cincinnati Bengals, McCarron only threw a grand total of 133 passes in the regular season. The most extensive action he saw was in 2015, replacing an injured Andy Dalton. That year, McCarron played extensively in four games, plus a Wild Card defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers. All told, the national champion tossed seven touchdowns and three interceptions that season.
1. Cleveland Browns
Everybody knows that the Browns almost acquired McCarron at the trade deadline, only to miss the mark by a few minutes. Cleveland was run by Sashi Brown then, so perhaps John Dorsey will veer off onto another course, but Hue Jackson remains, and Jackson was McCarron’s offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. At this point, the Browns are the favorite in this race.
2. Denver Broncos
Denver reportedly wanted to go after Kirk Cousins, but it appears that the Minnesota Vikings will land the prized 29-year-old. If that’s the case, general manager John Elway could lean towards Case Keenum, or roll the dice with a younger, albeit inexperienced, McCarron. If Elway doesn’t like his options in the draft, McCarron would be an intriguing choice.
3. New York Jets
What are the Jets going to do at quarterback? Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty aren’t the answers. Josh McCown is a free agent, and three of the quarterbacks in the draft are likely going to be gone when Gang Green picks at No. 6 overall. McCarron would make a ton of sense for New York.