Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the chasm between the Browns’ coaching staff and the front office has grown even deeper following the team’s failed attempt to trade for Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron.
According to La Canfora, both team and league sources told him numerous coaches believe GM Sashi Brown had no intention of actually completing the agreed-upon trade before last week’s deadline.
The Browns were reportedly prepared to send the Bengals a second- and third-round pick for McCarron, but Cleveland failed to sign the paperwork or call the deal into the NFL before the deadline. La Canfora mentions that not only are Browns’ coaches furious by what happened, reneging on a verbal commitment to another team is considered a massive breach of protocol within the NFL and the Bengals aren’t happy with them either.
Sources have told La Canfora that some of the Browns’ front office personnel were out of the office Monday night while other teams were working on trades around the league. Beyond that, the coaching staff is also mad that some executives left the building early on Tuesday to celebrate Halloween with the families when there could be jobs on the line.
La Canfora writes that some coaches believe the front office “sabotaged” the McCarron trade, as they’re well aware of the procedures required to complete trades. Beyond that, Brown’s assistant, Chris Cooper, has plenty of experience in all minutia from his time working directly on the NFL’s Management Council, so this isn’t something many would have expected from them.
League sources tell La Canfora that ownership has already started talking internally about how to move forward with a new regime in 2018.
While Browns HC Hue Jackson is clearly a big supporter of McCarron, the front office may actually have prevented them from overpaying for McCarron. Reports have said that second- and third-round picks for McCarron is too high of a price to pay, especially when you consider that McCarron could win his grievance against the Bengals and become an unrestricted free agent next year.
Either way, this has really been a bad look for the Browns, who still have serious questions to answer about their quarterback position and how the team will operate moving forward.