A.J. McCarron reported for work at Paul Brown Stadium on Wednesday just like any other day.
Except the Bengals had a previously scheduled open locker room period and he had to field numerous questions about how he was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old quarterback was diplomatic as he answered questions about the last 24 hours, admitting he has already been hearing jokes about making sure to hit “Send” if he has any outgoing messages.
McCarron also thanked Bengals management, including owner Mike Brown and team vice presidents Katie and Troy Blackburn for trying to give him a chance to play somewhere rather than continue backing up Andy Dalton.
“They were going to give me an opportunity, and I really appreciate that. I’ve been very thankful of them this whole time and enjoyed my whole time here, so I really from my heart appreciate them being willing to give me that opportunity.”
Coach Marvin Lewis called McCarron a very valuable member of the team.
“He's a great kid. He's a true team player. He's a leader,” Lewis said. “He's a leader on this football team, and that's why we felt like he's such a valuable asset. And the man upstairs (Mike Brown) was very clear about that, of how we felt about him.”