The trade deadline pbaded 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.