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Alabama in the Pros

AJ McCarron wins grievance from Cincinnati Bengals, will be an unrestricted free agent

David Kohl - USA TODAY Sports

AJ McCarron is officially a free man, and fans of the University of Alabama football program could not be any happier for the former Crimson Tide quarterback.  

As of Thursday, the 27-year-old won his grievance from the Cincinnati Bengals per multiple reports and is now an unrestricted free agent in the National Football League. McCarron’s case was won on the grounds of Cincinnati placing him on the “non-football injury” list during his rookie season in 2014, despite him clearing a team physical after the NFL Draft. He suffered from tendinitis in his shoulder and the Bengals kept him on the NFI list longer than expected. 

According to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport, McCarron even received back pay from the franchise after not getting his full salary and will be a free agent on March 14.  

Regardless of the number of quarterbacks entering this year’s draft, Cleveland, Minnesota, Buffalo, Denver and Jacksonville are a few teams that could use McCarron’s services.  

During his second year in 2015, McCarron played in seven games and totaled 854 passing yards with six touchdowns to two interceptions. He filled in admirably for the injured Andy Dalton, and came close to winning the AFC Wild Card matchup versus Pittsburgh on Jan. 9, 2016. 

A bidding war among teams for McCarron will be in play as the Mobile native is one of the hottest commodities on the market. Alabama fans remember him as a two-time national championship starting quarterback, but now he has chance to run his own professional team.

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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