Alabama Football: For A.J. McCarron it may be Bills or bust


The ramp up for NFL free agent signings closed some quarterback deals. Former Alabama football QB, A.J. McCarron may be down to the Bills or being a backup.

The chances for A.J. McCarron to be signed as a NFL starting QB diminished on Tuesday. The former Alabama football player and backup for the Cincinnati Bengals may be down to the Buffalo Bills.

McCarron was set to be traded from the Bengals to the Browns months ago. The deal was perceived to offer A.J. a good chance to be named the 2018 starter in Cleveland. At the last minute, the deal fell through or was botched depending on which story considered credible. At the time, it was believed when the current free agent window opened, McCarron would have multiple options. Based on what happened on Tuesday, those multiple options may be down to just one.

Tuesday NFL QB moves (from

  • Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – 3 years, $84 million
  • Sam Bradford – Arizona Cardinals – 1 year, $20 million
  • Case Keenum – Denver Broncos – 2 years, $36 million
  • Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – 2 year extension, $50 million
  • Teddy Bridgewater – New York Jets – 1 year
  • Josh McCown – New York Jets – 1 year extension, $10 million
  • Mike Glennon – Arizona Cardinals – signed 1 year deal

The Miami Dolphins remain an option but not one where A.J. will be handed the keys. Ryan Tannehill will return from injury and any new Dolphin QB will have to beat him out. After Tannehill was injured, the Dolphins passed on a trade for McCarron. Perhaps they are more interested now.

A more probable destination for A.J. is Buffalo. The Bills moved Tyrod Taylor and they probably will use the draft to sign a prized QB. They have already traded Cordy Glenn to the Bengals to move up to the 12th pick in the draft. They can sign a franchise QB at No. 12 but that doesn’t mean the rookie would start in 2018. McCarron might become the Bills option for a 2018 starter.

The Bills may also try to trade up again, improving their chances of signing a true franchise quarterback in the 2018 draft. Even that would not mean McCarron does not fit into the Bills’ plans.

After four seasons with the Bengals, McCarron officially becomes a free agent on March 14th. After leading Alabama football to two national championships and finishing second in the Heisman voting, A.J. appeared to be destined for a long NFL career. Still only 27, he has time to become a NFL starter but it will get tougher to do so with each passing season.

Next: 'Never too early' 2018 Offense Depth Chart

Former Alabama football and now Bills OC, Brian Daboll could save the day for A.J. A Tuesday night rumor suggested the Patriots are considering bringing in McCarron as Tom Brady’s backup.