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NFL trade rumors: Bengals looking for ‘at least’ a first round pick for AJ McCarron

AJ McCarron is probably not going anywhere this year, and maybe not next year either.

The veteran quarterback market grew quiet in a hurry this year, and two potential trade candidates, Jimmy Garoppolo and AJ McCarron have remained with the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively. Reports had the price for Garoppolo as prohibitively high, and now it sounds like the price for McCarron is going to be rich most people.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that if the Bengals were going to deal McCarron, it would take at least a first round pick. The Patriots have seemingly made it clear that a deal involving Garoppolo would require a first, and probably multiple firsts.

We could see something done between now and the draft, but odds are pretty good both quarterbacks will remain backups in 2017. It would take an injury for either to get into the starting lineup with their respective teams, but could an injury land them elsewhere between the draft and the start of the season? If someone without a decent backup loses their starter, maybe a deal gets done for one of the two. That is not something we can predict, but it is one of the few options on the table.

Garoppolo is a free agent after this coming season, with the Patriots only option being the franchise tag. McCarron is a restricted free agent after this coming season, having missed out on a season of accrued service time due to injury. More than likely the Bengals will place the first round tender on him if they do not work out a trade before then. It would only be one first-rounder, unlike the two for the franchise tag. If a team is not willing to part with a first round pick this year, would they be willing to do it after next year?