BEREA, Ohio -- Much was made of the Cleveland Browns’ inability to consummate a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback A.J. McCarron, but Cleveland’s executive vice president, Sashi Brown, tried to clear up the situation surrounding the failed trade.
To Brown, it was a matter of timing.
“It’s a lot simpler than what’s been written truly,” Brown said prior to Monday’s practice. “This is just a matter of getting to a deal too late in the process, and I think both sides, both Cincinnati and us, tried our damnedest to try and get the paperwork in at the last minute.
“We’re talking about minutes and seconds. Before the trade deadline ended, we were on the phone with the NFL at the time to try to make it happen and it did not happen. I do think Cincinnati, in earnest, tried. I know we did everything humanly possible to get it done, and it just didn’t happen. It’s truly that simple.”
One day prior to the failed attempt to get McCarron from the Bengals, the New England Patriots dealt long-coveted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for the paltry sum of one second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns will head into the offseason with two first-round picks and three second-round selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“I wouldn’t get into all of the discussions we had,” Brown said. “I know the McCarron thing is a little unique just because it’s been so widely reported and there actually was trade paperwork sent to the league.”
During the fallout of the botched trade, reports emerged that the Browns’ front office was out of the building by 5 p.m. Monday, just hours before the deal for Garoppolo was done between New England and San Francisco.
“It'd be nice to be able to control where all the other teams are going to send their players,” Brown said. “We don't have that control, but a lot of this stuff that's been written has been made up. Someone can call my wife and kids and tell them where I was at five o'clock, but it certainly wasn't home.”
Although Brown dismissed the many reports surrounding the deal that did not get done, he did tout the fact that the team has obtained the equivalent of five years’ worth of picks in the NFL Draft in 18 months’ time while acknowledging the fact that the team is still 1-23 since he took over the front office.
“It’s my responsibility to deliver a roster here that is talented enough to win, week in and week out, and we haven’t done that yet,” Brown said.
“We are confident as we move forward that we will be able to add. You guys know how well we are positioned, the requisite talent to bring this roster back to being a contender for this division and beyond, but we’re not there yet, and so, we’ve got to own that and we will.”