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Bengals owner not totally ruling out AJ McCarron trade

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Waiting to see where Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Fitzpatrick land, the NFL's quarterback carousel has stopped spinning over the past week.

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Much like nature, the football news cycle abhors a vacuum, leading to speculation that a quarterback-needy team such as the Broncos, Jets or Browns might explore the trade route.

The two most intriguing backup quarterbacks bandied about have been Mike Glennon of Tampa Bay and AJ McCarron of Cincinnati.

While Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht acknowledged Monday that a Glennon trade is a possibility leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, the Bengals aren't going to entertain the same possibility with their premium Andy Dalton insurance.

Coach Marvin Lewis told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on Monday that the Bengals will respectfully decline if any team calls with an offer for McCarron.

Owner Mike Brown offered a similar sentiment, but stopped short of dealing in absolutes.

"Every football player is for sale if the right offer comes along," Brown explained Wednesday, via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That's the nature of the business. Do I see something happening right now? I don't. 'Never' is a word you want to be careful about."

Before McCarron ever took a regular-season NFL snap, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported last June that Cincinnati's coaching staff had already arrived at the belief that the former Alabama star was "fully capable of becoming a starting-quality player."

Lewis elaborated on the team's reasoning during Tuesday's AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL's annual meeting.

"Because he's exactly what we look for to be a replacement quarterback if we needed it," Lewis explained, via the Bengals' official website. "We never found one until now. That's what we feel good about."

The most impressive moments of McCarron's nascent career came in the first half of the Bengals' Week 16 overtime loss at Denver last December. New Browns coach Hue Jackson was calling the plays for McCarron while Broncos general manager John Elway was looking on from the comfort of his private box.

Although both men are in the market for a starting quarterback, it seems that McCarron is off the table at any price.

Glennon is entering the final season of his rookie deal for a team still filling roster holes and hoping to climb above .500 if everything breaks right. McCarron is under contract at a cheap rate for the next two years on a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

It's easy to see why one organization would be amenable to a trade while the other is content to hold the line.

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