NFL Trade Rumors: AJ McCarron for Sheldon Richardson?

This offseason, the Bengals find themselves in need of major help on defense. The defensive line, which was once the team’s strength, is now a liability. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins have been the only consistent players, and the Bengals are finding it harder and harder to mask the issues presented by a young secondary.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets, coming off of an equally disappointing season, are in the market for a quarterback. With only Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg available, New York will have to pick up a signal-caller with some semblance of experience.

Alas, perhaps we’ve reached a rumor worth investigating. Amid the chaos of free agency, there has been reported interest in a Sheldon Richardon for AJ McCarron trade between the Bengals and Jets.

It makes sense. The Bengals could use another top defensive lineman to take some pressure off of the shallow secondary, and we know by now that the franchise doesn’t shy away from players with a troubled past. It could be all the better to secure a new start for Richardson, who has had his fair share of off-the-field issues.

Many of those who saw McCarron take over for Andy Dalton in the 2015 season liked what they saw. He has 854 yards and six touchdowns in relief of Cincinnati’s starter — and the Bengals would likely hope to ship McCarron off before his rookie deal ends. New York seems to be openly embracing a strong turnover of older veterans, and bringing in McCarron fits the mold of the youth movement.

These rumors are circling “within league circles,” as reported by David Wyatt of SB Nation. Now, with a plethora of estimations, this should be taken with a grain of salt.

But again, it makes sense.

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