Quarterback A.J. McCarron is eager for the opportunity to prove himself with the Buffalo Bills after spending the previous four seasons working in Andy Dalton's shadow.
And it makes no difference to McCarron if the Bills add more competition should they select one of the highly regarded quarterback prospects in the first round of the draft next month.
"I try not to ever waste any mental thought on it because it's something I can't control Authentic Carlton Davis Jersey ," McCarron said Thursday, after arriving at the Bills facility to officially sign his two-year contract.
"There's no reason for me to really put any thought into it just to be honest with you, because it creates mental clutter for my process that I need to be the best player I need to be."
The 27-year-old said he's not affected by the perception of Buffalo signing him to hold down the starting job on a short-term basis and allow time for a younger quarterback to develop.
"You can either let it affect you in how you go about your work and let that define you. Or you can change everybody's thought process," McCarron said. "My mindset is to change anybody that's had any doubt."
For now, McCarron and 2017 fifth-round draft pick, Nathan Peterman, are the only quarterbacks on Buffalo's roster after the team traded third-year starter Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland last week.
Buffalo is considered among the teams targeting a quarterback in the draft. The Bills have two picks in each of the first three rounds 鈥?including the 12th and 22nd overall.
McCarron was a two-time national champion at Alabama but appeared in just 11 games in Cincinnati, mostly in mop-up duties. McCarron did start the final three games of the 2015 season and led the Bengals to the playoffs after Dalton broke his thumb.
He was on the verge of leading the Bengals to their first playoff win since the 1990 season before Jeremy Hill's fumble and two penalties allowed Pittsburgh to secure an 18-16 win in the AFC wild-card game.
McCarron is now part of the Bills' ongoing roster overhaul in being one of five newcomers to join the team once the NFL's free-agency period opened Wednesday. The others are defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, former Washington pass-rushing specialist Trent Murphy, safety Rafael Bush and linebacker Julian Stanford.
Also on Thursday, the Bills freed up salary cap space by restructuring the contract of veteran offensive guard Richie Incognito.
Lotulelei and Murphy are key additions for the Bills in overhauling a defensive front seven to shore up a unit that ranked 29th against the run and finished tied with the third-fewest sacks at 27.
Lotulelei signed a five-year contract after spending his first five seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The 28-year-old is reunited with Bills coach Sean McDermott Authentic Sampo Ranta Jersey , who was the Panthers defensive coordinator before being hired by Buffalo in January 2017.
Lotulelei expects his familiarity with McDermott's defensive philosophy to ease his transition. He's also looking forward to the chance to line up alongside respected veteran Kyle Williams, who signed a one-year contract this week to return for a 13th season.
"Kyle Williams, I've been a big fan of his," Lotulelei said. "Coming here and having the opportunity to learn from him as well as play alongside him will be great."
Murphy was so eager to get to Buffalo, he drove overnight through a snowstorm. He arrived at about 1:30 a.m. in making the 320-mile trip from Columbus, Ohio, where he spent the past 10 weeks working out to strengthen his injured left knee. The fourth-year player missed all of last season after tearing two ligaments during Washington's first preseason game.
The injury came after the former second-round draft pick had a career-best nine sacks in 2016. Murphy, who signed a three-year contract, is motivated to prove he can return to playing at the same level.
"I couldn't be more exited to prove everyone here right that I'm who they think I am," he said. "It's just more motivation to grind out the rest of this offseason and get here and get working."
Murphy said he is on track to be fully healthy for the start of the season.
McCarron is getting a fresh start after being nearly traded to Cleveland last season. The deal fell through after the Browns failed to submit the paperwork on time.
And he only became eligible to enter free agency after an independent arbitrator last month ruled McCarron's rookie season counted toward his NFL tenure even though he spent a majority of the year on the non-football injury list because of a sore passing shoulder.
"It's been a little bit of a roller coaster," he said.
"We get impatient and you want things fast and easy Dan Bailey Jersey , but it's not always that way," McCarron said. "So I think it just adds another chapter to the story in the end. It's just part of the process. It's awesome to be here in this situation now."
Chargers cornerback Trevor Williams injured his leg during the fourth practice of training camp Tuesday, potentially dealing another blow to Los Angeles' depth in the defensive secondary.
But coach Anthony Lynn is cautiously optimistic that his team's latest injury isn't serious.
Williams was hurt while defending receiver Mike Williams in a red zone drill. Trevor Williams had to be helped off the field by teammate Jahleel Addae.
After getting attention from the training staff, he left Jack Hammett Sports Complex on crutches with his left foot in a walking boot.
The injury and Williams' reaction to it were foreboding, but Lynn was hopeful he hasn't lost his starting cornerback for an extended period.
"You're holding your breath there," Lynn said. "I think he sprained his ankle, but I don't think it's bad. I mean, it's the fourth day of training camp. Hell, we have coaches around here limping. Coaches are sore, so I can't imagine how the players feel."
After the Chargers' history with catastrophic injuries in the past few seasons, Lynn won't exhale until Williams undergoes further tests.
The Chargers are a popular pick to earn a playoff spot this fall Authentic Kevin Hogan Jersey , but they already incurred serious injuries to two potential key contributors before training camp even began.
Los Angeles lost starting tight end Hunter Henry to a knee injury on a non-contact drill in May. The Chargers then lost long-injured former Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett to a torn Achilles tendon during a conditioning test last week.
Verrett's most recent injury occurred at the brink of his comeback after missing most of the past two seasons. His newest setback "broke a lot of our hearts," Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward said.
But Verrett's absence wasn't a disaster for the Chargers last season because of the surprising emergence of Williams, who stepped into a key role after catching on with the Chargers in 2016 as an undrafted free agent from Penn State.
Williams started five games as a rookie, and he started 15 more games last season opposite Hayward in the Chargers' opportunistic defensive secondary. He made the first two interceptions of his career along with 56 tackles and generally provided outstanding coverage.
"He'll bounce back," defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said of Williams. "Trevor is a great professional, and you know he's going to do whatever he can to get right back on the field. We're just going to wait on him and be patient."
The Bolts have been forced to do that quite a bit during Mebane's tenure. They lost a staggering number of man-games to injuries in San Diego during their final two seasons, which were also the worst two seasons of Philip Rivers' 12-year tenure as their starting quarterback. Fans who followed the Chargers from San Diego to LA already know the Bolts went 5-11 in 2016 after losing Verrett, cornerback Brandon Flowers, linebacker Manti Te'o, receivers Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson and running back Danny Woodhead for extended periods.
Even after losing Verrett last week, the Chargers' secondary is fairly well stocked. Desmond King played extensively as a rookie last season Troy Niklas Color Rush Jersey , primarily as a nickel back, while first-round pick Derwin James is expected to be an immediate contributor at safety alongside Addae, who started all 16 games last season.
"If Trevor's ankle is bad, then I would be concerned about the depth there," Lynn said. "But I'm also confident in those young guys behind him. They're stepping up and making plays in practice, and there's going to be a nice competition in that group."