Whether AJ McCarron becomes a restricted or unrestricted free agent this offseason will be decided this week. But how did the Bengals and McCarron get to this point? A lot has been made about the upcoming outcome of AJ McCarron’s grievance regarding his free agency designation. Whether the Bengals quarterback hits free agency as an unrestricted or restricted free agent will be up to the NFL at this point, and a ruling is expected to come down by Thursday. But how did we get here? Why is this such a special case that McCarron felt the need to fight it?
The start of the RFA vs UFA drama
It all started after the Bengals drafted McCarron in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He showed up to camp with a shoulder injury suffered in college, and he spent most of the season on the Non-Football Injury list.

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