Report: Bengals, Browns “close” on A.J. McCarron trade

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The trade deadline passed without the Browns making a deal for a quarterback, but it reportedly wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Browns were “close” to making a deal with the Bengals for A.J. McCarron, but weren’t able to get it finalized.

There’s no details about what might have been involved in the deal on the Browns’ end. Word in the offseason was that the Bengals wanted at least a second-round pick for McCarron’s services.

Browns coach Hue Jackson was the Bengals offensive coordinator during McCarron’s first two years in Cincinnati, so interest in rekindling that relationship after losing eight straight to start the year isn’t a great surprise. Jackson also reportedly had interest in adding Jimmy Garoppolo and that obviously didn’t go anywhere either as Garoppolo was dealt to the 49ers on Monday night.

McCarron is set for free agency this offseason, so the Browns may have another chance to bring him to Cleveland. It remains to be seen if he’ll be an unrestricted or restricted free agent, however. McCarron spent most of his rookie year on the non-football injury list because of a shoulder injury suffered before the Bengals drafted him and was not credited with a year of service toward unrestricted free agency.

McCarron has filed a motion to get that changed, but said in the spring that he does not anticipate a ruling until 2018.

UPDATE 5:16 p.m. ET: Schefter updated his report to say the Bengals thought the deal was done minutes before the deadline, but the Browns did not approve it with the league.

22 responses to “Report: Bengals, Browns “close” on A.J. McCarron trade

  1. Really giving Kizer a strong vote of confidence.

    The Browns are doing everything they can to screw his career up. He should have barely saw the field this year. Hue could have coached him up and unleashed him next year. But now, Kizer has no idea what the current or the future plan is. Then again, neither do the Browns….

  2. Will the Bengals bilk the Browns like they did the Raiders in the Palmer trade? Hue will overpay if this trade happens.

  3. Not sure what Cleveland is doing – they need help, but the odds seem to say that they’ll have a new head coach next year who will likely want to bring in their own QB. That said, this is the Browns, who even in good years tend to have a greater number of starting QBs than they do wins.

    From the Bengals perspective – if they weren’t trying to get Zeitler back they’re just crazy

  4. Next you’re going to write they want to send a first rounder to the Broncos to get BO back…… Pun intended….

  5. Guys like McCarron can be put in position to look good in pre-season games, but they’re not starting NFL QBs. If this rumor is true, Jimmy Haslam needs to clean house yesterday.

  6. I see the big picture now. The analytics dictated all along back in the 2016 draft to bypass a couple of future Hall of Famers to build your team of over-drafted stiffs around A.J. McCarron in 2018.

  7. Sashi Brown needs to be fired. Browns have three 2nd rounders and fell asleep at the wheel as Garropolo and Kelvin Benjamin went off the trade board for… yep 2nd rounders. Browns could have addressed huge needs at QB and WR and still kept their two 1st rounders.

    Yet they tried to get AJ McCarron for some strange reason because Hue Jackson wanted him. Hey Hue and Sashi, neither of you will be with the Browns at the end of December.

  8. The Browns front office is run by morons.

    Pass on franchise QB’s, because the smartest guys in the room (actually the dumbest) decide they’d rather roll with Cody Kessler 3-4 rounds too early then take Wentz. Hell Dak was a 5th rounder. These guys picked Kessler in the 3rd.

    But they garnered extra picks. Stupid move, but ok, let’s see what they do.

    In the 2017 Draft, when they are on the clock and Watson is on the board…. nope they make another trade. Decide to get Kizer, with all his question marks, in the 2nd round.

    The sad thing is, there aren’t QB’s like this in every draft, and if they try to finally do what everyone says they should’ve done, they’ll likely draft a bust. These were your QB’s to end the Browns QB drought, and these idiots passed on them. (and again also took Kessler two rounds before Dak). So, in reality, three.

    Now that they are desperate, and have all these picks, they decide to get active in the trade market, but don’t offer enough.

    What is the point of passing up quality players to get extra picks, if you are too stingy with the picks? Guess what Sashi, everyone knows you’re loaded with picks and are going to ask for MORE then any other team. Sashi’s backed himself into a corner on that one.

    Now they whiff on McCarron and were outbid for Garappolo? Amateur hour in Cleveland.

    I feel bad for Browns fans. But seeing who they passed and who they took, it might be best not to take a QB until a new GM is in place.

  9. In a roundabout way, if they were really committed to using these picks to build a team, they shouldn’t of done the trade anyways (but that also means, they shouldn’t of been looking for a trade). It’s desperation.

    Now these guys, or a new regime will have a chance to draft some good players with the stockpiled picks. A.J. McCarron is still quite a bit of an unknown, even with coach familiarity. They aren’t going anywhere this year. Your LT is out. You’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it.

  10. Whom would he throw to? Can anyone on this team play this game? Does anyone want to?

    Harvard’s MONEYBALL!

    Keep the talent and coaching to a minimum, and the bottom-line profitable.

    Keep giving Jimmy & Dee Haslam your money. (Like they really care about Ohio anyway)

  11. The Browns could mess up a wet dream. I truly feel sorry for their fans. The Browns fans are die-hard and loyal. Too bad their team perpetually stinks.

  12. Let’s not forget…the Browns got one of those second rounders from Houston so that Houston could draft Watson. The Browns couldn’t pick the winning horse in a one-horse race.

  13. So As a Bengals fan that tells me the bangles are sticking with Dalton come he’ll or high water , arrrrgggggg

  14. Can you imagine being a QB in the NFL and getting the call that the Browns are interested in you??? Has to be a fate almost worse than death!

    In McCarron’s case, the only thing you can hope for is somehow, someway, they screw it up. And guess what McCarron??? They screwed it up!

    I know Brown’s fans, as a Raider fan I have no room to talk but you know the old saying. . . “misery loves company”. Look on the bright side Browns’ fans, at least you didn’t have a top 10 offense last year, add 2 more weapons to it, have no major injuries on that side of the ball as of yet and are now at the bottom of the league with the same personnel on offense!!!!!!!!!!

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