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#pounditSunday, April 21, 2024

AJ McCarron had good reason for asking Bengals to release him

AJ McCarron looking on

Aug 17, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback AJ McCarron (2) looks on during warm ups before a game against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals made a surprising move on Wednesday when they released AJ McCarron, but it turns out the move came at the quarterback’s request.

McCarron plans to sign with the UFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks, according to NFL reporter Howard Balzer. McCarron played for the BattleHawks last season before the XFL and USFL merged to become the UFL.

McCarron, 33, thrived in the XFL last season. He threw for 2,150 yards, 24 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions in 9 games. He was named the MVP of the league.

The Bengals signed McCarron to add depth after Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury, and they likely would have held onto him heading into 2024. However, McCarron said last year that he chose to take less money to play in the XFL so he would get some meaningful playing time and create memories for his children.

UFL players report to training camp on Feb. 24. The season is set to begin on March 30 and end on June 2, so McCarron will have plenty of time to re-join an NFL team in four months if he chooses to go that route.

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