Had the arbitrator sided with the Bengals, McCarron would currently have only three years’ service time—and been eligible for restricted free agency. That outcome likely would have left him with the Bengals—teams could have made him offers, but the Bengals would have had the chance to match, or an option of first refusal along with draft-pick compensation, depending on how they tendered him—with little to no chance to bargain for what he’s worth. McCarron was supposed to have been traded to the Browns last fall, but the Browns tripped on their dicks. Now, he’s free to hit the market.

This post was updated to include Rapoport’s tweet that McCarron was also awarded back pay with interest.