A.J. McCarron is a free man.

The former Alabama quarterback won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and can now become an unrestricted free agent, according to multiple reports:

McCarron, who spent his first 4 NFL seasons as the Bengals’ backup after starring at Alabama, filed a complaint against the organization over accrued seasons. By winning the grievance, that means McCarron will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.

Originally, the Browns worked out a trade with the Bengals that would’ve sent McCarron to Cleveland before the Oct. 31 trade deadline. That deal didn’t go through because ex-Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown failed to notify the NFL the terms before the 4 p.m. deadline.

Could that mean McCarron is heading to Cleveland after all? Perhaps.

Either way, the Bengals will no longer have a chance to match whatever offer McCarron receives from another team, nor will they get a compensation pick if he chooses not to resign.

A lot can happen in the next few weeks, but Thursday’s development is obviously a huge break for McCarron’s attempt to become a full-time starter on a new team.