NFL notes: Failure to file paperwork costs the Browns a trade with Bengals for QB A.J. McCarron
A proposed trade by the Cleveland Browns for Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron fell through when paperwork was not filed to the NFL before the 4 p.m. deadline, a league spokesman confirmed.
The teams had an agreement in place, sending McCarron to Cleveland for draft picks, but the required documentation — paperwork signed by both clubs — arrived in New York too late, said league spokesman Brian McCarthy. He did not provide any further detail about why the transaction wasn’t finalized.
The Browns have spent much of the last two decades in a failed search to find their franchise quarterback. McCarron might not have been that answer either, but the 27-year-old could have provided leadership and another option while the team develops rookie DeShone Kizer, who has had an uneven seven starts.
The administrative glitch comes one day after the New England Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo — a quarterback on Cleveland’s radar for months — to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick. The Browns, who have three second-round picks in next year’s draft, had previous discussions about Garoppolo but were unable to strike a deal.
On top of that, Browns fans have had to watch Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, two players the team could have drafted in the past two years, excel in Philadelphia and Houston, respectively, while Cleveland has gone 0-8 this season and 1-23 under coach Hue Jackson.
Jackson’s history with McCarron is what drew the Browns toward the Bengals backup, who made three starts, including one in the playoffs, when Andy Dalton was injured in 2015. McCarron could have helped the Browns plug the gap while Kizer develops or until the team drafts another QB.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound McCarron has completed 66% of his passes for 854 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions with Cincinnati.
Jackson’s future in Cleveland is uncertain as he Browns enter their bye week winless at the season’s halfway point for the second year in a row. He has been criticized for his handling of Kizer, who has been benched three times, as well as some head-scratching decisions during games.
Cleveland’s front office, led by Sashi Brown, is also under pressure as a plan to turn around the team has shown minimal progress.
Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have professed patience, but it will be tested by the group’s inability to complete even a basic trade.
Bills add Benjamin
The Buffalo Bills, who at 5-2 are off to their best start since 1993, upgraded their receiving group by acquiring Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers for their third- and seventh-round picks in next year’s draft.
Benjamin immediately becomes the Bills’ leading receiver with 32 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, he’s scored 18 touchdowns in 40 games, and the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin provides quarterback Tyrod Taylor a big target, particularly in the red zone.
It’s the fourth significant trade by Buffalo since August, when the Bills dealt starting receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams and starting cornerback Ronald Darby to Philadelphia. On Friday, Buffalo traded its highest-paid player, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, to Jacksonville.
The players union has turned to a federal appeals court after federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla refused to suspend her Monday ruling restoring the NFL’s six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. ... Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph said he’s either going to simplify his offense for QB Trevor Siemian or bench him for Brock Osweiler, after Siemian made “three horrific decisions” on “three horrible interceptions” in Monday’s loss at Kansas City. ... The San Francisco 49ers sent cornerback Rashard Robinson to the New York Jets for a 2018 late-round pick. ... The Miami Dolphins placed starting guard Anthony Steen and starting safety Nate Allen on injured reserve.
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