Browns once again missed out on a quarterback after botching trade with Bengals in embarrassing fashion

  • The Browns had worked out a deal with the Bengals to acquire quarterback A.J. McCarron just before the trade deadline.
  • Cleveland failed to submit the trade on time, making the deal void and leaving their quarterback carousel just as precarious as it was at the start of the day.
  • It’s only the latest in a series of quarterback failures that has haunted the franchise since its return to Cleveland.

It didn’t seem possible, but somehow, the Cleveland Browns quarterback situation found a way to become even more depressing.

On Tuesday as the NFL trade deadline was approaching, the Browns and the Bengals were working out a deal to send Bengals backup A.J. McCarron to Cleveland.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal was agreed upon by both sides, but in a move only the Browns would be capable of, the team did not submit the deal in time to beat the deadline.

To make matters worse, a follow up from Schefter would reveal that the Bengals had submitted the trade on time, meaning responsibility for the missed opportunity rested solely on the shoulders of the Cleveland franchise.

Adding to the absurdity of the situation, the Browns were reportedly offering the Bengals a second and third round pick for McCarronmore than the Patriots received for giving up stud backup Jimmy Garoppolo. While McCarron is a solid player, Garoppolo has been studying under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for years, and is widely considered a future star. Evidence of the deal that wasn’t appears to show the Browns to be overpaying for a lesser quarterback.

The Browns quarterback situation is an ongoing mess and has been since the team came back to Cleveland in 1999. In the 18 years of football since, 28 players have lined up under center for the Browns, and many have been named the next great saviour of the franchise — Johnny Manziel, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, and most recently, DeShone Kizer.

Cleveland has handled them all terribly, most recently benching, starting, and then benching Kizer again to a point where he can’t be sure what faith the team has in him going forward, and this now-dead trade will only add to any doubts already there. The team has also passed on multiple opportunities to draft players that would eventually become studs, including Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.

McCarron was a fifth-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2014 after winning two national championships at Alabama. In 2015, McCarron showed promise after Andy Dalton went down with an injury, starting the final three games and throwing for 854 yards, 6 touchdowns, and just 2 interceptions while leading the Bengals to a 2-1 finish to the regular season.

He was by no means a superstar, but it’s possible he could have provided Cleveland with the stability they have lacked for 18 years at the quarterback position. Instead, because a call to the league was not made in time, the franchise is right back where they started.

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