Browns’ McCarron excuse doesn’t mesh with NFL procedures

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Reeling from the most public yet of their many humiliations, the Browns have blamed the failed trade for quarterback A.J. McCarron on the bunglings of the Bengals, telling Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Bengals failed to send to the league the trade document signed by both teams, after the Browns had sent the signed paperwork to Cincinnati.

There’s one small problem with that excuse. That’s not how trades are communicated to the league. And every key member of every front office knows, or should know, the proper procedure.

Per multiple league sources, a trade becomes official only when both teams independently communicate the trade to the league office. It definitely doesn’t happen as the Browns claim they tried to do it, with chain of communication involving one team sending a form to the other team, which then signs the form and sends it to the league.

And so here are the potential explanations for what’s going on. One, the Browns are lying about what happened to cover up their incompetence. Two, the Browns are telling the truth and are genuinely incompetent. Three, the Browns deliberately sent the paperwork to the Bengals and not to the league office in order to keep the trade from happening, with a premeditated “did I do that?” already in place.

Whatever the explanation, the Browns have yet again provided anyone who is paying attention a tangible example of the kind of dysfunction that, in an age of unprecedented parity, has resulted in the team winning one out of 24 games.

41 responses to “Browns’ McCarron excuse doesn’t mesh with NFL procedures

  1. Calling the Browns organization a laughingstock is an understatement. They’ve reached the point to which their stupidity isn’t even a surprise anymore.

  2. Sorry, but I have to call you out for BS on that last line. The reason the Browns have lost so much this past year and a half is CLEAR and INDISPUTABLE: they INHERITED a bad team, and then accepted making the team even worse in the short term by jettisoning decent but failed former high draft picks while also working to add a bevy of additional draft picks.

    Your narrative that the Browns are utterly incompetent is RUBBISH, because the clear plan the newest front office put in place WAS NOT TRYING TO BE GOOD YET. It didn’t want to invest in a Wentz or Watson at QB, because those QBs would likely have developed bad habits on these bad Browns teams and never come close to their potential. Meanwhile, the players the front office has drafted so far haven’t hit their primes yet, so the decisions the FO have made haven’t come all the way yet.

    This process might prove an utter failure, or it may work out. However, the ONE SURE THING is that it is WAY too early to pretend to know where this is going, and any attempt to do so is bogus. Back it up a step…or ten.

  3. I both admire and feel sad for the fans of the Cleveland Browns. They deserve more than what continually comes from the factory of sadness. SMH It’s hard enough being a Bears and Colts fan but the Browns fan is a special kind of devoted.

  4. The Browns need to fire their GM and senior front office people immediately, and clean house from top to bottom. They need a completely new executive team that can turn around the franchise from the ground up. Everyone in the Browns organization should then be on notice that the new management will review performance, qualifications, etc. of everyone employed by the Browns and that by season’s end pink slips will be issued where upgrades are needed. The Browns need a strong executive team and GM to change the culture of the franchise and the power to make wholesale changes, focusing first on front office, then scouting, personnel management and coaching.

    I’m not sure who you get to lead that total reorganization, but it needs to be somebody strong and experienced who can bring a lot of people with him, and has worked with a top franchise in the past. Needs to be a younger guy too, as it’s a 5-10 year project.

  5. Not only that, if you talk to agents and those plugged in leaguewide, this is not the first time the Browns have missed out on players due to inaccuracies around contract language and league protocols under Sashi Brown. And this is a guy whose expertise is on the legal/contracts/negotiaton side. It’s unbelievable.

  6. If that was a ruse to motivate Kizner to stay away from The Flats and the bar scene in Friday nights, then they should already know they drafted the wrong guy.

  7. Gross incompetence again — the singular thing this FO can be depended upon to produce. Fire them all! Hire a real football man as GM! They can’t keep screwing up player selection in free agency or the draft!

  8. “Three, the Browns deliberately sent the paperwork to the Bengals and not to the league office in order to keep the trade from happening, with a premeditated “did I do that?” already in place.”
    I’m going with 3 because I hear somebody in the front office balked at a 2&3 for MCarron when Garoppolo only cost a 2. So it was Hue vs the front office and Hue lost. That’s not a bad thing as Hue ain’t exactly known for smart trades (see the Carson Palmer trade which set the Raiders back a few years!).

  9. The irony is had their front office personnel watched the movie Draft Day, they would have seen that BOTH teams called the NFL officials to announce the trade. Even better….the team making all the trades in the movie??? The Cleveland Browns!

  10. Not sure how the Haslams can sit still over this embarrassing debacle. This front office has proven to be a fatal combination of arrogance and ignorance in negotiations. They have let home developed talent walk, like Gabriel, Schwartz, Mack, Pryor, Barnidge, and Haden, and failed to effectively hit on a bounty of draft picks. They drafted 4 WRs in ’16 and have no legit WRs to show for it. They did not draft a WR in ’17.
    Passing on Wentz and Watson are unforgivable mistakes that, along with about 6 other QB mistakes in only 2 seasons, demonstrate their inability to recognize talent at the most critical position. Hue has been part of that problem.
    This botched trade might be their own bumbling ineptitude ironically saving them from making yet another stupid QB move.

  11. The NFL should force Jimmy Haslam to sell the team. Similar to what MLB did with Marge Schott and the Reds. The reason is that Browns ownership is ruining the NFL product. A minimal amount of competency is required to run a team. It’s impossible to garner new fans and retain old ones when going 0-24.

  12. I have genuine sadness for the 53 players on the Browns roster each year. Imagine dedicating your entire life to becoming a professional football player, and finally seeing your dream come true, only to be relegated to the worst run franchise in America (in any industry).

    The league should step in and do something about this incompetence, but I have no confidence that they will or even would do the right thing. It’s awful that, year after year, the same dysfunction exists.

  13. I really feel bad for what the Brown’s fans and players have to endure. I am a Steeler fan and love good football and Pittsburgh-Cleveland is what we used to wait for twice a year. But over the last dozen years Brown’s ownership has not put anything quality on the field to watch. It’s just twice a season for me but a real tragedy year after year for Brown’s fans. The team gets and trades/releases players like water. They present an image the ownership group and coaches have no idea what to do and this pushes it over the top. Draft on the advice of a homeless guy, how many QB in 10 tears, last time in playoffs, players not developed to potential….. Management makes trades of players. In the Brown’s case too bad it isn’t the other way round. If I was a player I’d be really pi$$ed at how their owners run the team and make decisions without knowing how to do it.

  14. I choose that latter, they regret offering a #2 and a #3 for a guy that can’t beat out Dalton so they needed to nix the deal …..

  15. What kills me is that for what those idiots were offering for McCarron, the Browns could have had Jimmy G. AND Kelvin Benjamin! This typical screw-up actually worked in the Browns favor…..kept them from over-paying for mediocrity.

  16. redsoxu571 says:
    October 31, 2017 at 11:54 pm
    Sorry, but I have to call you out for BS on that last line. The reason the Browns have lost so much this past year and a half is CLEAR and INDISPUTABLE: they INHERITED a bad team, and then accepted making the team even worse in the short term by jettisoning decent but failed former high draft picks while also working to add a bevy of additional draft picks.

    Your narrative that the Browns are utterly incompetent is RUBBISH, because the clear plan the newest front office put in place WAS NOT TRYING TO BE GOOD YET. It didn’t want to invest in a Wentz or Watson at QB, because those QBs would likely have developed bad habits on these bad Browns teams and never come close to their potential. Meanwhile, the players the front office has drafted so far haven’t hit their primes yet, so the decisions the FO have made haven’t come all the way yet.

    This process might prove an utter failure, or it may work out. However, the ONE SURE THING is that it is WAY too early to pretend to know where this is going, and any attempt to do so is bogus. Back it up a step…or ten.

    ________________
    You, my friend, have a true analytical mind. These surface people react to everything. They will never take the time to consider what you are accurately stating. Well done. You will never be in the majority, because these surface types just go by what they see and feel now.

  17. snakeman40 says:
    November 1, 2017 at 8:46 am
    What kills me is that for what those idiots were offering for McCarron, the Browns could have had Jimmy G. AND Kelvin Benjamin! This typical screw-up actually worked in the Browns favor…..kept them from over-paying for mediocrity.
    _______________

    I agree that is ridiculous and DESPERATE to change your plan for the likes of a McCarron at his cost. But Bill Belichick was NOT going to trade Garap to any AFC team. Bill is analytical and he doesnt just cavalierly do anything.

  18. Like McCarron is the happiest guy in the world…….this is what you get when an owner who doesn’t know if ball is stuffed or pumped……

  19. With Dumervil, the player lost money in the fax fiasco due to his own agent’s miscue.
    Here, the Bengals lost picks and now have the player they tried to trade on the roster. And this was due to another organization’s miscue.

  20. “They drafted 4 WRs in ’16 and have no legit WRs to show for it. They did not draft a WR in ’17.”
    ____________

    That is their front office in a nutshell. They have no idea what they’re doing, they try something and when it fails they are gun shy to ever try it again so they move on to something else. That also explains why they passed on drafting any of the top QBs they could have picked.

    The Browns are the football equivalent to the inept do-it-yourselfer who tears out a wall, figures out he doesn’t know how to finish the job, so just leaves the mess and moves on to trying plumbing in a different room.

  21. I think the problem is that nobody knew how to use the fax machine. It is 2017 and the paperwork needs to be faxed? The fax machine hasn’t been used anywhere other than the NFL since the Browns came back into the league.

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