Browns Botched A.J. McCarron Trade

The Browns almost landed quarterback A.J. McCarron from the Bengals before the trade deadline,’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) reports. However, the two sides could not reach agreement before 4pm ET/3pm CT on Tuesday. "<strong

The two sides actually agreed to a McCarron trade at 3:55 pm ET/2:55pm CT, a source involved tells Schefter (on Twitter). The Bengals approved the trade with the league office in time, but the Browns did not. After the fact, the Browns argued to the NFL that the trade should be allowed, a source tells Schefter (Twitter links). The league refused, even though the Browns’ notification of the deal arrived just moments too late.

The proposed deal had the Browns sending a second-round pick and a third-round pick to the Bengals for McCarron, according to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The near-trade could be a sneak peak into the Browns’ offseason plans. McCarron is headed for restricted free agency in the spring, so Cleveland could theoretically make another run at him. Then again, given the way that the Bengals have valued McCarron in trade talks over the last couple of years, he could still be extremely costly.

In April, the Bengals told teams that they wanted a first-round pick for McCarron. The belief was that the Bengals were not all that interested in trading the backup QB and were simply naming an out-of-range price rather than rejecting offers outright. One unknown club did offer up a second-round choice for him. In a poll, many PFR readers speculated that it was the Browns who made that pitch. We know now that Browns coach Hue Jackson pushed hard for a reunion with McCarron.

McCarron has limited NFL experience after years of playing behind Andy Dalton, but he showed potential down the stretch in 2015 when Dalton was injured. The Browns saw him as someone who could be an upgrade over their murky QB situation, but they did not offer enough to get a deal done at the deadline. Their stockpile of picks remain untouched, but they missed out on an opportunity to spark the offense in the second half. The Browns have also made it clear to second-round pick DeShone Kizer that he is not viewed as the answer under center.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Browns Botched A.J. McCarron Trade

  1. Sheep8

    Is this the straw that will get someone or some people fired in the Browns front office??? Stay tuned to this soap opera!!

  2. DonKieballs

    This is getting ridiculous. People are freaking out because the Browns didn’t trade for Garapollo and now McCarron acting like they are sure things. I can’t justify giving up high draft picks for unproven players. I feel like every time a player who sits behind Tom Brady for multiple years becomes available, they go to a bad team and ultimately become back ups again. McCarron is like Matt Flynn to me. If he’s so great then where were the other teams who need a QB at to jump on this ‘steal’ of a player?

    Which leads to my next point. Everyone needs to stop bashing on the Browns because they didn’t draft Wentz or Watson. If either was put on this Browns team with 0 offensive weapons, the team still would be awful and it might actually ruin the player. The best QBs in the league were first round picks that went to established teams. There are a TON of highly regarded players who went to awful teams and very few actually went on to become successful.

    That being said, the Browns front office need to be held accountable for doing very little to address the RB and WR position to give whoever they decide to play QB a chance. Finding a QB is important but going out and trading high draft picks for a guy with limited experience who isn’t going to make this team a consistent winner will put them back at square one… Again

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