NFL confirms that teams can independently report trade agreements

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A week ago today, the football-following world was becoming acquainted with the latest and far-from-greatest trade effort by the Browns, who had a deal with the Bengals for quarterback A.J. McCarron but failed to report it to the league office before the annual window closed. During a Tuesday media briefing, the NFL confirmed that the procedure the Browns attempted to implement unnecessarily complicated the process.

Spokesman Michael Signora explained that teams can, if they chose, prepare a formal trade document and obtain signatures of both teams, with one of them submitting it to the league office. Signora also said that notice of the trade can be submitted by the teams individually, with the league verifying a match as to the terms.

The Browns opted for the former process, which while not erroneous can be horribly inefficient, especially when the clock is ticking loudly. The Browns should have simply sent an email to the league office, with the Bengals doing the same. (The Bengals, by the way, did.)

And so the question continues to be whether it was accidental or deliberate. Browns executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown responded to the sabotage question in a calm, matter-of-fact way. Given the implications of a sabotage allegation, he arguably should have been a little upset (or a lot upset) about being accused of essentially committing an act of treason against his team.

20 responses to “NFL confirms that teams can independently report trade agreements

  1. This is one case, perhaps the only case, of the Browns screwing up and actually helping the team.

    Those are valuable picks and if you like McCarron so much he will most likely be a UFA in 2 months. Ridiculous overpayment.

  2. I still dont buy it was an accident. I think someone had the brains to make a save but not the authority so this was they only way.

  3. The Browns have actually been quite smart when it comes to accumulating draft picks. Now actually using them wisely is anotger story. I believe they looked at the price and had second thoughts

  4. McCarron isn’t going to be an unrestricted free agent though. He’s going to be restricted with a 1st round tender. You have to go back to his rookie year when the Bengals didn’t activate him until late in the season due to injury. That first season didn’t count towards his contract.

  5. Who Cares ?
    The NFL is the most racist league in modern times and the Browns proved it again
    Sign Kaepernick and put an end to this already

  6. eagleswin says:
    November 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm
    This is one case, perhaps the only case, of the Browns screwing up and actually helping the team.

    Those are valuable picks and if you like McCarron so much he will most likely be a UFA in 2 months. Ridiculous overpayment.

    52 6 Rate This

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    I agree with you, but also disagree. The Browns have a bunch of picks and can afford to part with a couple. And the reason they may have desired to acquire him via trade is he may not want to go to a place through free agency that, quite frankly, kills QB’s careers. Especially with teams like the Broncos or Jets or Redskins (if Cousins leaves) possibly needing quarterbacks next year.

  7. Very interesting article, and good insights, but I’m left wondering, “what does Papa John think about this issue?

  8. As mentioned before, it looks like they were going to get hoodwinked and Sachi said nah without making it look like Cincy was being shady. He took the hit and the Bengals saved face. It helps when future trades pop up. The grievance that AJ filed is going to set him free so why waste valuable picks on a guy you can sign or would walk.

  9. This is one case, perhaps the only case, of the Browns screwing up and actually helping the team.

    Those are valuable picks and if you like McCarron so much he will most likely be a UFA in 2 months. Ridiculous

    With this roster, the two picks will be far less overpayment than the free agent contract they’d have to offer to get him to come

  10. Yeah, i’m totally with the opinion that it was no mistake. McCarron, and this is just MY opinion. Is worth a 4th at the very most. I can see the Bengals putting either a 1st or a 2nd round tender on him. McCarron filed a grievance because he believes he should be classed as a UFA, but at the moment he’ll be classed as a restricted free agent. What Cleveland did (in the terms of trying to get him in the building) is smart but the offer wasn’t. 49ers did the exact same thing with Garoppollo…except they obviously completed the trade. For probably a fair price.

  11. The whole day went down like this: garoppolo gets traded. Browns were in the dark and went through the 5 stages of grief: anger denial bargaining, depression, accceptance. Then, they overreacted and panicked and called the Bengals. The Bengals knew how desperate the Browns were and wanted a ransom. The Browns negotiated it down to a 2 and a 3 at the very end of the day. The Bengals, knowing how much they were fleecing the Browns, jump on the deal and sent their paperwork to New York. The Browns sent things through their multiple layers of bureaucracy and With 3 minutes left, sent their papers to Cindy. The Bengals, now furious that they missed the chance to trade for that bounty and having ALREADY informed AJ McCarrons agent that he was dealt, call Adam Schefter and the rest is history.

    In this article above, the league clearly allows a trade to be approved in the way the Browns were trying AND the way the Bengals did it. Ultimately, greed by the Bengals and analysis paralysis by the Browns killed the deal. If they had agreed at 2 p.m., none of this would have been an issue.

    It makes the Browns look really stupid, but it’s the best trade that never happened. Go draft some other backup QB with a smokeshow for a wife in the fifth round next year, but be sure to get a starter with that #1 overall pick.

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