aj mccarron-cleveland browns

Minutes before Tuesdy’s NFL trade deadline, the Cleveland Browns acquired a much-needed quarterback to bridge the gap to whatever doomed signal-called they draft next spring.

Only, no they didn’t.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, the Browns reached a deal with the Bengals to bring quarterback A.J. McCarron to Cleveland but failed to call in the trade before the 4 p.m. deadline, thereby negating it.

Schefter reports that the Browns protested to the league to make an exception for the trade but the league declined. The trade is officially off.

This mess leaves Cleveland stuck with its motley quarterbacking crew of Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and rookie DeShone Kizer, all of whom now know the organization is looking to replace or even release them.

But while the Browns did this to themselves, the real losers here is Cincinnati. The Bengals were presumably content with their trade, which they responsibly called in like a competent organization, but now are forced to take back a potentially disgruntled McCarron. Maybe that’s what they get for dealing with the Browns.

Because this is the Browns, McCarron will surely follow in the footsteps of Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson and become a star, while Cleveland searches for a passable quarterback for all of eternity. Sometimes this organization suffers tough breaks. Other times, such as on Tuesday, the Browns make their own bad luck.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.