Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron was in the news this week. He won a grievance, meaning he will become an unrestricted free agent in a few weeks. Rich Cimini wrote today that the Bengals offered him to the Jets a year ago.
At the start of free agency last year, the Jets received a call from the Bengals, who offered McCarron in a trade. The Jets gave it some thought but nixed the proposal because they were focused on free agents and didn’t want to surrender compensation in a trade. As everybody knows, they wound up signing Josh McCown -- a terrific free-agent move.
Cimini does not indicate what the Bengals were asking for. One might guess it was draft picks, although you might remember a guest on our podcast tell us there was a rumor in the league about a potential Sheldon Richardson for McCarron swap.
In any event, it is tough to blame the Jets for turning down a trade package that would have only bought them one year of McCarron.
Things might be a little different this time around. Since McCarron will be a free agent, the Jets wouldn’t need to give up a pick (picks) and/or a player (players) to obtain him. It will only require a contract. If the team loses the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, there could be some logic behind signing McCarron. I will admit I am not a huge fan of his upside, but he is only 27 with a limited track record of decent play. A deal that would allow the Jets to escape with a limited financial hit after year one but provide an option keep McCarron on a modest salary for a few more years if he succeeded would make some sense.
If the Jets sign McCarron, it should by no means make them any less willing to draft a quarterback early. At this point, it is about putting as many viable possibilities onto the roster as possible.