A.J. McCarron is available, but the Bengals have set a lofty asking price for the quarterback. Cincinnati wants “at least” a first round pick for him, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
It’s hard to see any team making that kind of offer for McCarron, even when considering the dearth of high-level quarterbacks in the draft and free agency. That’s just fine for the Bengals who value McCarron highly as Andy Dalton‘s understudy. McCarron personally wouldn’t mind a trade out of Cincinnati, but he won’t be going anywhere unless the Bengals have a sudden change of heart.
Because McCarron spent most of his rookie year on the non-football injury list, he’ll be a restricted free agent after the season instead of an unrestricted free agent. That development made him even more valuable to the Bengals since they can keep him at a bargain basement price through the 2018 season. McCarron will carry a modest $735K cap number in 2017 while top backups elsewhere are earning $4-$5MM.
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