AJ McCarron won the right to hit free agency and set his sights on a starting job, a role he hopes to secure with the Buffalo Bills.
The 27-year-old quarterback signed a two-year contract with Buffalo on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal weren't announced.
McCarron and Nathan Peterman top the Bills' depth chart at quarterback for the moment, but it is possible Buffalo could target a QB in the upcoming draft. The Bills officially dealt their former starting quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, to the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday in exchange for a 2018 third-round draft choice.
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Before McCarron signed with Buffalo on Wednesday, the New England Patriots reportedly offered him a contract to serve as Tom Brady's backup.
McCarron had been the backup to Andy Dalton in Cincinnati the past four seasons but was not interested in returning to the Bengals.
McCarron threw only 14 passes total the past two seasons, both in 2017, and he completed half of them. He made three starts in 2015, winning twice, and he finished that season with 854 passing yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.
For his NFL career, McCarron has completed 64.7 percent of his 133 passes for 920 yards.
After guiding Alabama to back-to-back national championships, McCarron was selected by Cincinnati in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.
In February, McCarron was granted the right to become an unrestricted free agent in March in an arbitration ruling regarding his NFL service time. McCarron's grievance revolved around the 2014 season, when the Bengals put him on the non-football injury list at the beginning of the campaign with a shoulder injury.
He wasn't activated until early December, so he didn't accrue a season toward free agency. A player must be active for six games to earn a season of service time.
McCarron came close to being traded to Cleveland at the trade deadline in October 2017, but ultimately he remained in Cincinnati when the Browns did not get the paperwork sent in time.
In other moves Wednesday, the Bills sent offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and two 2018 draft picks (Nos. 21 and 158) to the Bengals for the Nos. 12 and 187 picks in this year's draft.
Buffalo also agreed to terms with free agent defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (five-year deal), defensive end Trent Murphy (three years, reportedly worth $21 million), safety Rafael Bush (two years, reportedly worth up to $4.5 million) and linebacker Julian Stanford (two years).
--Field Level Media