The quarterback carousel in the NFL continues. The Buffalo Bills have announced they have signed former Cincinnati Bengals’ backup AJ McCarron to a two-year deal. The Bills traded Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns earlier this month and traded with the Bengals to move up to the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, sending Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati.
The Bills are believed to still be interested in drafting a quarterback in the first round and also own the 22nd pick in the Draft, as well.
McCarron finds a team in need of a starter and does not get shutout of the free agent frenzy that has had quarterbacks moving all over the NFL. The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs last season, but still saw the need to upgrade the position in the offseason. McCarron won the right to be a free agent when he said the trade between the Bengals and Cleveland Browns last season was botched, so he should be able to seek a team of his choosing this offseason.
The NFL granted his wish.
According to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, McCarron, 27, was a free agent after winning a grievance filed against the Cincinnati Bengals last year to determine whether he had been incorrectly put on the non-football injury list as a rookie. He not only won his grievance for the incorrect designation, but he also was owed back pay for the time spent on the list in 2014.
McCarron played in five regular-season games in the 2015 season and started three, completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 854 yards and six touchdowns. He also started an AFC wild-card playoff game that season, completing 56.1 percent of his passes for one touchdown and one interception in an eventual a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McCarron could be the final chess piece to move at the quarterback position. For those of you playing at home, here is a breakdown of signal callers so far this offseason…
Drew Brees – Stays with the New Orleans Saints
Blake Bortles – Stays with the Jacksonville Jaguars
Alex Smith – Traded to the Washington Redskins
Tyrod Taylor – Traded to the Cleveland Browns
Kirk Cousins – Signs with the Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum – Signs with the Denver Broncos
Sam Bradford – Signs with the Arizona Cardinals
Teddy Bridgewater – Signs with the New York Jets
AJ McCarron – Signs with the Buffalo Bills
Even with those moves, it is expected that some of these franchises will still draft a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft in April.
McCarron’s deal has a base value of $10 million and can be worth up to $16.5 million if he reaches playing-time incentives, a source said. The deal includes $6 million guaranteed, per source.
McCarron joins 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman on the Bills’ QB depth chart. He was originally a fifth-round pick by the Bengals in 2014. At Alabama, he was a Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2013. He was a First-team All-American in 2013.
McCarron was a two-time Second-team All-SEC (2012, 2013), a three-time BCS national champion (2010, 2012, 2013) and was a two-time SEC champion (2009, 2012).
It is believed the Buffalo Bills will also seek a quarterback with one of their two first round picks this April.