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Duke Tobin: Our office phones work, but we’re not in a rush to trade AJ McCarron

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No surprises as the Bengals are holding their cards close to their chest.

The second day of the NFL Combine kicked off with word that Colin Kaepernick is opting out of his contract, and the New England Patriots are not going to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. The former is all but settled, while the latter might be more about establishing the market.

If Garoppolo ends up not being dealt, it could bode well for the Cincinnati Bengals and quarterback AJ McCarron. Andy Dalton’s backup is available via trade, but the Bengals are prepared to play hard ball. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin met with the media Wednesday morning in Indianapolis, and he made it clear he will not give up McCarron for nothing.

Tobin said they have a specific plan in place with McCarron. The backup quarterback is an important position given the physical nature of football, and how quickly a team can lose their starter. Tobin is willing to take calls (“The phones in our office work”), but he is prepared to keep McCarron if the right offer is not there.

It is not exactly a shocking revelation. The team is not going to come out and say, yea, we really want to trade him. That does nothing to help their cause in trying to trade him, so there is no reason to really say anything else for the time being.

Here is video of Tobin, followed by a transcription.

The larger point on AJ McCarron for us is that he is a very valuable piece of what we do. So it’s not a point where we’re saying, hey, gee, what can we do with this guy because we don’t have a plan in place for him with us. There’s a plan in place for him with us. He plays a very valuable position, backup quarterback. And you’re always one play away from going to your backup quarterback. We view our team as a team that can challenge. Whether that’s universal or not, we view our team as a team that is in the mix to challenge. And if you don’t have a viable No. 2 quarterback that you can go to and win with, you can tank your entire season.

So, he’s a very valuable piece of what we do. If somebody wants to call and talk to us, call and talk to us, but they're gonna find out we value AJ McCarron quite a bit.