Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron was nearly traded to the Browns, but the trade fell through when the proper paperwork wasn’t sent to the league office before the trade deadline. McCarron now says he wanted to be traded because he thought he could have started and won games in Cleveland, rather than stand on the sideline in Cincinnati.
“As a competitor, I wanted that opportunity, just to be able to showcase and help a team win ball games,” McCarron said on WNSP, via AL.com. “I think I would have had some success playing for Hue. I would have loved the opportunity to go up there and get them a win, more than one win. As a competitor, that’s all you can ask for.”
But the trade didn’t go through, apparently because the Browns didn’t submit the trade through the official league channels, as required before any trade can be consummated.
“It was an odd deal,” McCarron said. “I got a text from my agent at 3:34 saying ‘hey, there’s a possible trade going down. Stay by your phone. I’ll let you know.’ I got another call from him right at 4 saying ‘from what I know, it’s a done deal. I’ll call you back in a minute and let you know.’ The next call I got was at 4:03 and he’s ‘hey, the trade didn’t go through. They didn’t get the paperwork in on time.’ Everybody has a story. I’m sure Cleveland has their own story, Cincy has their own story. But it’s just one of those things, when you think you’ve seen everything, you’re shown a little bit more. I think the only people who truly know what happened were the ones leading the whole situation on both sides.”
McCarron believes he could have won games with the Browns, just as Jimmy Garoppolo took the 49ers from 1-10 to 6-10 when he started the final five games of the season. We’ll never know how that would have worked out, but McCarron may get another chance to go to Cleveland: He has a grievance hearing scheduled for next month that will determine whether he’s a restricted free agent, in which case he may spend another season as Andy Dalton‘s backup, or an unrestricted free agent, in which he’ll get to shop his services to the highest bidder and hopefully find a team that thinks he can start.