Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Browns owner Dee Haslam went “nuclear” on the front office after the team’s failed attempt to trade for Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron.
The Browns have been doing damage control the past 24 hours after reports mentioned that they bungled the McCarron trade just before the deadline.
Cleveland has made the case that they signed the appropriate paperwork to complete the trade, sent it to the Bengals, and then submitted it to the NFL. According to the Browns, it was the Bengals who sent the document signed by just one team to the league and it was too late at that point to complete a deal.
Sources tell Florio that the Browns and Bengals should have separately informed the league office of the terms of the trade.
“Only requirement is for both clubs to separately notify the league office via email of trade terms,” a source tells Florio. “If trade terms match, deal done. No need to sign paperwork and submit prior. Have 15 days to submit trade papers (with terms that identically match emails).”
Florio says that the Browns’ football operation “currently is a mess.” While they’ve indicated that they’re committed to seeing things through, Florio believes they should ultimately hire a capable personnel executive and allow that person fix things, once and for all.
It was clear that Browns HC Hue Jackson wanted to bring in McCarron from their time together in Cincinnati, but the front office disagreed and ultimately prevent the deal from getting done. Reports have said that the Browns would have sent a second- and third-round pick to the Bengals for McCarron, so it’s possible they avoided a mistake.
Even so, it’s a bad look for the franchise that it even got to that point.
There has been some recent speculation about Peyton Manning possibly being a target for the Browns in a czar role much like John Elway has with the Broncos. Manning has obvious ties to owner Jimmy Haslam from their time together at Tennessee, but it remains to be seen if Manning is ready to return to the NFL and whether this is the kind of situation he would want to inherit.
We’ll have more regarding the Browns as the news is available.