A.J. McCarron

Season ending or just long term injuries to quarterbacks around the NFL come in handy for teams with highly sought-after backups. The Cleveland Browns with Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Mike Glennon and the Cincinnati Bengals with A.J. McCarron all feel like they can ask for a pretty hefty price for their backup quarterbacks, and know they’ll probably get someone to bite.

For the record, all three teams prefer holding on to their quarterbacks. However, when the minimal price seems to be a second round pick, and maybe even a first round pick (and remember, these guys aren’t starters), they can’t help but see what the market brings them.

McCown has been someone the Dallas Cowboys have been looking at for some time, but the Browns have always been asking for a second round pick or a number of picks. He’s not going to start this season, but considering Robert Griffin III doesn’t come in carrying too long of a credit line, the Browns prefer to have a backup with experience, who won’t feel overwhelmed with being a starting quarterback all of a sudden.

And there’s always the value of being ready for any scenario. The Browns aren’t thinking playoffs, but the Bengals and even Bucs are. If Jameis Winston goes down, putting Glennon in won’t be a smooth replacement, but Glennon has started for the Buccaneers before Winston (when McCown was in Tampa too), and is regarded as someone a few teams in the NFL view as starter-material under certain circumstances.

McCarron showed he’s a pretty good option to come from behind, filling in for the injured Andy Dalton late in the season and in the Bengals playoff game vs the Pittsburgh Steelers. It didn’t help him replace Dalton as QB1 for Cincinnati or to make someone offer the Bengals something they couldn’t refuse, but with seasons being thrown away because of quarterback injuries, a trustworthy backup is as important as any other starter position on the football team.

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