The free agent status of Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron is not yet decided. Within the next week, the league will determine whether McCarron will be a restricted free agent or of the unrestricted variety come March.
That’s an important distinction to make. If he were a restricted free agent, it would enable Cincinnati to match any offer for the former Alabama standout. As an unrestricted free agent, he’d then be free to sign wherever he wants.
As evidenced by Cleveland nearly working out a deal with Cincinnati for McCarron during the season, there’s going to be some real interest in the young quarterback once free agency opens.
Now, according to Vic Lombardi of Altitude 950 AM in Denver, the Broncos are expected to show interest in McCarron should he hit the unrestricted free agent market.
The #Broncos will be interested in QB A.J. McCarron in free agency if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, per Vic Lombardi.
McCarron's status on whether he'll be an UFA or RFA could be decided in the next few days.
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) February 14, 2018
After last season’s disastrous situation at quarterback, it’s widely believed Denver will go after the biggest free agent quarterback on the market in that of Kirk Cousins. Though, if that doesn’t work out, McCarron would be a more cost-effective option for John Elway and Co. With all of three career starts and six touchdowns to his name, banking on McCarron to perform up to the level of a starting quarterback would be risky. But he is seen as a starter-caliber option by teams around the league.
A report from earlier on Wednesday noted that Denver intends to keep wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas as a way to entice a proven signal caller. That could very well be music to the ears of McCarron should he hit the unrestricted market.