CINCINNATI - We've probably seen the last of quarterback AJ McCarron in a Bengals uniform.
A NFL insider report says McCarron won his grievance against the team and becomes an unrestricted free agent, meaning he's free to sign with any team and the Bengals can't keep him by matching that team's offer.
Source: #Bengals QB AJ McCarron won his grievance against the team. He’ll be a free agent.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2018
The Bengals argued that McCarron should be considered a restricted free agent because he was injured and didn't play in the first season after the Bengals drafted him in 2014.
McCarron argued that he should have come off the non-football injury list during training camp. That would have given him another accrued year toward free agency. Instead, the Bengals didn't put him on the active roster on Dec. 9, which didn't give him the six regular-season games needed to count the season.
McCarron, who has been a backup to Andy Dalton since he was drafted, has said he wants to have a chance to be a starting quarterback with another team. The former Alabama star is now free to sign with the Browns or any team that wants him.
Browns coach Hue Jackson tried to trade for McCarron last season, but the Browns front office either flubbed or sabotaged the deal by missing the deadline for reporting the trade to the NFL.