By Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan

BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – A proposed trade between the Browns and Bengals for Cincinnati’s backup quarterback AJ McCarron fell through over a mix-up in the execution of the paperwork required to complete the deal Tuesday afternoon.

A league source confirmed to 92.3 The Fan that the 2 teams agreed on a trade to send McCarron to Cleveland Tuesday just before the 4 p.m. deadline but the paperwork was not properly executed in time by the teams.

In order to properly complete the trade the league office needed to receive a trade agreement signed by one of the “designated signees” from the Browns as well as the Bengals, but the document that the league office received prior to the deadline only contained 1 signature.

As to which signature that was, well, there are conflicting versions of the story from different league sources.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported citing league sources that the Bengals completed the paperwork properly and it was the Browns who did not. A league source told 92.3 The Fan Tuesday evening that it was the other way around – it was the Bengals who erred by sending in the wrong document that did not have the Browns’ signature on it after Cleveland sent a signed document to Cincinnati to be signed and sent into New York.

Typically when trades are being consummated both teams will take extra precautions and communicate directly with the league office to ensure that the paperwork was received, is in compliance with league requirements and subsequently approved, or even rejected.

This clearly did not happen Tuesday afternoon which is inexcusable.

The Browns did try to get the league office to accept the trade since the terms were agreed upon prior to the deadline passing but that was rejected a league source said because the proper paperwork simply was not received in time from the clubs.

What we did learn Tuesday is that the Browns clearly were not satisfied with their quarterback situation leading up to the deadline and that maybe DeShone Kizer isn’t as firmly entrenched as the franchise QB in the making like we’ve all been led to believe – including Kizer.

A league source told 92.3 The Fan’s Dustin Fox that the Browns did inquire about Jimmy Garoppolo before the Patriots shipped him off to San Francisco for the low, low price of a 2018 second-round draft pick Monday night. The extent of the conversations between the Browns and Patriots regarding Garoppolo was not clear but contact was made.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals were to receive a 2018 second- and third-round pick for McCarron from the Browns, an even higher price than what San Francisco paid for Garoppolo, which was a 2018 second-rounder, Monday night. It stands to reason the individual players’ contracts might be the reason as to why that was.

Garoppolo can become an unrestricted free agent next March, which means he’s set to cash in for a gigantic payday while McCarron will be a restricted free agent, meaning the tender to keep him is much lower and very club-friendly by comparison.

It all comes down to this: the responsibility for the failed trade between the Browns and Bengals is essentially a he said, she said and both clubs share blame.

But it’s the 0-8 Browns who bear the brunt of the embarrassment around the league and in the court of public opinion. So, what else is new?


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