Browns Nearly Traded For Bengals QB A.J. McCarron


Mary Kay Cabot reports that the Browns sent the signed trade agreement involving QB A.J. McCarron to the Bengals to sign and then forward to the NFL.

However, the Bengals sent the document straight to the NFL without signing it.

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Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Browns were willing to trade their second and third-round picks in 2018 to the Bengals for QB A.J. McCarron.

However, league sources tell Owczarski that there was a disconnect between the Browns’ personnel department and the coaching staff about McCarron that ultimately hindered talks.

Owczarski confirmed with a league source that the Browns did try to appeal to the NFL to get the deal done.

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Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Browns were “close” to trading for Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron before Tuesday’s deadline, but were ultimately unable to reach an agreement.

  • Schefter says that the Bengals and Browns actually thought they beat the clock in trade regarding a McCarron trade, but the deadline had passed.
  • According to Schefter, the Bengals and Browns actually agreed to the McCarron trade at 3:55 pm. Bengals approved the trade to NFL, but the Browns did not.
  • Schefter adds that the Browns disputed proposed McCarron trade to the NFL, arguing it should be allowed and the NFL declined. The NFL rejected Browns request to overturn McCarron trade, even though the Browns’ notification of trade arrived moments too late.
  • Tony Grossi mentioned ESPN 850 that “it seems like the Browns forgot or just didn’t call in the trade to the NFL in time.”

Earlier in the day, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Browns HC Hue Jackson “pushed hard” to acquire either Jimmy Garoppolo or A.J. McCarron during the offseason.

Cabot says that after it became clear that the Browns weren’t going to get Garoppolo, Jackson turned his attention to McCarron, as he worked with him while they were in Cincinnati. Sources tell Cabot that McCarron might’ve been had for a couple of second-round picks, but it’s unclear whether they tried to trade for him during the draft.

One interesting note regarding McCarron that impacts his value is the fact that he will be a restricted free agent after the 2017 and not an unrestricted free agent. McCarron qualifies as a restricted free agent next year because he spent most of his rookie season on the non-football injury list.

McCarron, 27, is a former fifth-round pick of the Bengals back in 2014. He’ll be entering the final year of his four-year, $2,401,652 contract and stands to make a base salary of $690,000 for the 2017 season.

In 2015, McCarron appeared in seven games for the Bengals and completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 854 yards to go along with six touchdowns and two interceptions.

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