AJ McCarron recently won the grievance he filed against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he is now set to join a pretty stacked free agent quarterback group this offseason. His skills have been showcased as a small sample size, but McCarron could be a very solid NFL quarterback when given the chance. Here's five teams that should sign AJ McCarron.
5. New York Jets
The New York Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for quite some time. With close to $75 million in cap space, this team is expected to make a big splash in free agency this offseason. If they're not looking to spend the big bucks on Kirk Cousins, they could bring in AJ McCarron. With some decent offensive weapons, particularly at the wide receiver position, McCarron could find some success with Gang Green. If they take this route, the Jets could still draft a quarterback with their sixth overall pick, while competing with McCarron under center at the same time.
4. New England Patriots
There have been some questions that have surfaced about how much longer Tom Brady will play. He threw for over 500 yards in the Super Bowl, so it doesn't look like he's retiring anytime soon. However, he's in his 40s now, so anything can happen and his career could end fast. Or, maybe he'd like to retire on top. Regardless, bringing in AJ McCarron would be a wise move for the Patriots. Brady might not like it, but McCarron could be his apprentice, and once Brady calls it a career, McCarron could be their guy. McCarron would probably like the chance to start for a team immediately, but if he'd like to remain patient and maybe get a Super Bowl ring, the Patriots would be a nice choice. Bill Belichick would certainly like this.
3. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are 1-31 over the last two seasons. They need a quarterback. According to reports, they were extremely close to acquiring AJ McCarron at the trade deadline during the season, but they failed to finish the paperwork in time. Now that McCarron's a free agent, they can still fix this. With two picks in the top five, this is a really big offseason for the Browns. Realistically, they can only go up from here. DeShone Kizer does not appear to be the answer, so if the Browns want, they could bring in McCarron and like the Jets, draft a quarterback with one of those top five picks. They also could draft Saquon Barkley number one and have a decent quarterback under center in McCarron. This could be a logical move for the Browns to make themselves instantly better.
2. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills quarterback situation is all over the place. They currently have Tyrod Taylor, but there's some speculation as to if the team will let him go. If so, the Bills should strongly consider McCarron. The Bills made it to the playoffs last year with Tyrod Taylor, so their roster is certainly strong enough to compete. It'd be a nice situation for McCarron to go into Buffalo and play for a team with playoff hopes. The Bills might look to draft a quarterback, but with the 21st pick in the first round, most of the better quarterbacks may be gone by then. McCarron to the Bills would be an interesting landing spot.
1. Denver Broncos
Some think the Denver Broncos are the favorites to land Kirk Cousins, but it will be a tough task given the team's salary cap situation. A solid fall back for the team would be AJ McCarron. The Broncos still have a really skilled roster and some big time receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Their defense isn't as good as it once was, but is still pretty decent. The past two years, they've been one position short of being one of the best teams in the AFC, a quarterback. This is a situation where McCarron could jump right in, and have some playmakers alongside him to find success. Cousins is certainly better than AJ McCarron, but McCarron's asking price will be far less. The Denver Broncos make perfect sense for AJ McCarron.