Who Dey Notes: Bengals’ Lewis On AJ McCarron, The Search

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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Those rumors about AJ McCarron just won’t fade away. Yes, it’s true. The Bengals are looking for running backs. The 2017 draft class is deep.

The offseason period close to April is always a weird time of year. Rumors get started and suddenly players are on other teams. But, one rumor that’s being put to rest is the trading of AJ McCarron. There has been speculation that the Bengals would be willing to give him up if the price is right. But, according to Marvin Lewis, there’s nothing to the hearsay and rhetoric.

Yes, it’s true. The 2018 season will have McCarron facing the insane music of free agency. But, he’ll be in the restricted category. Teams will have to give a king’s ransom and more if they want to pry AJ away from the shores of Cincinnati. Lewis was adamant in stressing how the Bengals feel about the man who almost won a playoff game.

"“AJ McCarron is a valuable member of our football team,” Lewis explained, per Bengals.com. “No one has asked to trade him. We’re not going to go out and seek a trade for AJ McCarron. He’s a valuable member of the team. We’ve said that how many times?”"

No matter how many times the rumors are shot down, they’ll continue to pop up. McCarron started the 2015 Wild Card Game in place of an injured Andy Dalton. With AJ at the helm, the Bengals took a 16-15 lead on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter. Fans know what could have happened. That’s probably why McCarron ain’t leaving the Queen City for pennies.

Mike Brown may be a stingy and stubborn owner but he knows when he has a hot commodity. If McCarron puts on another color uniform, Brown has gone completely batty. 

Lookin’ Far And Wide

Fans are split on the recent departure of running back Rex Burkhead. Some will bluntly say that he was overrated and didn’t have a huge body of work. Then there’s the crowd that view him as a gift from the football gods. The truth of the matter is simple. Burkhead is a back who understands the position. He knows how to use his blockers well and has great vision.

Evidently, the Bengals think he needs to be replaced. The latest trip for Bengals coaches included a southern drawl. On Wednesday, Cincinnati was at the University of Texas. Who’s there? Just think about a 243 pound running back with speed and power. If you can’t pull the name, it’s D’Onta Foreman. There’s a chance coaches may like him well enough to push Jeremy Hill.

Next: Draft Priorities Come First

It’s gettin’ real in those running back streets. The Bengals have to get production from Hill to offset the changes on the O-Line. Plus, there are the questions surrounding Giovani Bernard’s ACL surgery. A backup plan needs to be in place. Don’t really think he’s an adequate replacement? Do the math for 2,028 yards on 323 carries. He may be in Stripes, come April.

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