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Bengals Backup QB A.J. McCarron Will Be Restricted Free Agent After 2017

Joel Corry of CBS Sports points out that Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron will be a restricted free agent after the 2017 and not an unrestricted free agent.

Corry mentions that McCarron qualifies as a restricted free agent next year because he spent most of his rookie season on the non-football injury list.

With this in mind, Corry says that the Bengals shouldn’t be in a big rush to trade him this offseason.

This is a big deal for both McCarron and the Bengals, as it appeared as though Cincinnati was going to need to make a decision about him in the coming months or risk losing him and recouping a compensatory pick in 2019.

However, the Bengals will have him on an affordable salary in 2017 and can use a reasonable restricted tender on him the following years.

Last year, the restricted tenders were: $1.671 million (original round), $2.553 million (second round), and $3.635 million (first round). Even if they were to use a first-round tender on him, it would still be justified and they would protect themselves in case a team is willing to part with a first-rounder to sign him away.

McCarron, 26, is a former fifth-round pick of the Bengals back in 2014. He’ll be entering the final year of his four-year, $2,401,652 contract and stands to make a base salary of $690,000 for the 2017 season.

In 2015, McCarron appeared in seven games for the Bengals and completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 854 yards to go along with six touchdowns and two interceptions.

We’ll have more regarding McCarron’s future as the news is available.

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