AJ McCarron files grievance vs. Bengals, wants to be unrestricted free agent
A.J. McCarron is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after the 2017 season, but the quarterback is reportedly seeking to become an unrestricted free agent so he can sign with a new team more easily.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McCarron has filed a grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals that stems from the way his contract was handled after he was drafted back in 2014. Although McCarron passed his post-draft physical, the former Alabama star was placed on the non-football injury list at the start of training camp because of a shoulder injury. McCarron felt he was healthy enough to come off the NFI list, which would have allowed the rookie year of his contract to count toward his free agency.
If an arbitrator rules in favor of the Bengals, they would likely place a first-round tender on McCarron. That would, in theory, discourage other teams from signing him to a contract. If McCarron wins the case, a team like the Cleveland Browns could be interested in signing him to a contract this upcoming offseason.
The Browns and Bengals had agreed to a deal for McCarron before the trade deadline, but it fell through at the last second because Cleveland failed to get the paperwork in to the NFL. One report indicated there was disagreement within the organization about acquiring McCarron.