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Bengals QB AJ McCarron wins arbitration, becomes free agent

Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron throws during a preseason

Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron throws during a preseason game against the Colts in Indianapolis on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 Credit: AP / Michael Conroy

CINCINNATI — AJ McCarron has won his arbitration case against the Cincinnati Bengals and will become an unrestricted free agent next month, making him one of the more attractive quarterbacks on the market.

McCarron challenged the Bengals’ decision to put him on a non-football injury list his rookie year of 2014, when the fifth-round pick had a sore passing shoulder. The Bengals contended he should be under contract for an additional season in 2018. An independent arbitrator ruled in McCarron’s favor.

McCarron was Andy Dalton’s backup in Cincinnati and wants a chance to start somewhere. He took over when Dalton broke his thumb late in the 2015 season and led the Bengals to the playoffs, where they lost to Pittsburgh.

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