CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09: AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Bengals AJ McCarron on trade limbo: ‘It is what it is’

Backup quarterback AJ McCarron has made it clear he wants to go someplace where he can play, but at the same time he said he’s at peace with the fact that it appears he’ll be with the Cincinnati Bengals for another season.

“It is what it is,” McCarron said Monday as the Bengals began their second week of voluntary workouts. “If I am back here, I’ll be the best guy I can be and best teammate, best backup for (Andy Dalton) and help him in whatever way I can. That’s my job.

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“As a competitor you want to play,” he continued. “I’m a huge competitor, no matter what I’m playing. I’ve always been that way. I want to play. But, like I said, these are the circumstances and it’s something I can’t control. I’m at peace with it.”

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A fifth-round pick in 2014, McCarron is entering his fourth season with the Bengals. He will be a free agent in 2018. But there is still debate whether that will be as a restricted free agent, where the Bengals can match another’s team offer, or an unrestricted free agent. McCarron said that debate, which stems from whether his time injured as a rookie counts as an accrued season toward free agency, is for the lawyers and likely won’t be decided until after the season.