Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Incompetence on parade

Looking for another reason for Jimmy Haslam III to cashier his entire front office? Try what reportedly happened at Confusion Central in Berea Tuesday.

With the National Football League trade deadline winding down to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, the Browns and Cincinnati Bengals reportedly beat the deadline with a deal in principle with five minutes to spare.

The Bengals agreed to send backup quarterback AJ McCarron to the Browns in exchange for one of the Cleveland’s three second-round picks next year and their third-rounder. The agreement, again reportedly, was reached right around 3:55 p.m.

Only one problem. The Browns reportedly failed to file the paperwork to the NFL clearing house by the 4 p.m. deadline. The Bengals did at 3:55 p.m.

Supposedly, and again reportedly, the Browns’ brass was celebrating the trade and did not file in time. 

Too late said the NFL. No deal. The Browns’ appeal reportedly was rejected. It was as though it never happened.

The Browns, who have failed to execute properly on the field so spectacularly the last 24 games, failed in similar fashion off the field with this one.

The rejection undoubtedly ticked off both clubs. The Browns have been angling for McCarron for a couple of years, or since Hue Jackson joined the club as head coach. He was McCarron’s offensive coordinator in Cincinnati before heading up north.

The Bengals had to be royally ticked off because the Browns’ tardiness cost them two valuable draft selections next year.

In a way, though, this could be a blessing in disguise for the Browns. Sometimes the best deals you make are the ones you don’t make.

Since when is 27-year-old AJ McCarron worth two fairly high draft picks? Take Jackson’s word for it? Not after what we’ve seen from his quarterbacks the last season and a half.

First of all, the Browns were offering way too much for a quarterback who was a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and has no history that would suggest he would be the answer to the Browns’ quarterback problems. A fourth-rounder and conditional third-rounder maybe. Not this.

The former Alabama star has started only four games as a professional, all in 2015 after Andy Dalton broke his thumb in week 14. He has thrown eight scoring passes with four interceptions.

Hopefully the new front office (fingers crossed) will see things a lot differently than this one. Much more on that in Wednesday’s mid-week thoughts.


  1. I had heard they missed the deadline (which in itself is inexcusable) but to give up two high picks for a career backup? Wouldn't that same bounty have scored Garrapolo? I think the whole office gets cleared out the Monday after the last game. Unreal.

    1. Cleared out that late? I wouldn't be surprised if it happens sooner. There is just much embarrassment Haslam can take.

  2. Does any of this really surprise you? After all didn't we covet RGIII, Kessler, Kizer? I can't really blame the FO for being gun-shy of any QB hyped by Jackson, the non-guru. The blame game has begun and Haslam better do something real quick. He's already the owner of the most maligned franchise and its not getting any better.

    1. Surprise me? Very little surprises me these days regarding the Browns. So I guess the answer is no. If Haslam chooses to hang on to the bitter end, yeah, that would surprise me a little.

  3. Why aren't these guys fired yet? In my 40+ years of being a sports fan, I really can't think of a FO this bad in any sports league. It's been reported the FO refused to part with 2 2nd round picks for Garoppolo. Are you kidding me? I don't know if the kid is any good, but, c'mon, he's worth that especially when you're willing to give up a 2nd & 3rd for McCarron which was total panic move further exacerbated by the incompetence over the paperwork.

    This is all on Haslam. He's among the worst owners in sports. He's squeezing every $ out of this franchise. This "tear down" is just an excuse to go cheap on the roster in my mind. You don't need 3-5 years to rebuild. Some some drafting and some wise free agent signings and you can turn things around rather quickly and be competitive. And I've always believed that the analytics approach (which Banner brought with him) was an excuse to allow Jimmy to maintain control of the roster. As someone said, Jimmy believes he's another Jerry Jones but "without the football knowledge."

    This shit-show won't end until Jimmy either sells the team or gets serious about winning. We need an experienced team president to take over and run the whole show and get Jimmy's nose out of it. Hire Polian/Wolf/Accorsi as consultants to find this guy (these guys are too old). At the very least, they'd find someone competent which would be a gargantuan improvement over these buffoons.

    1. Haslam is not selling, Paul. For the sake of argument, though, let's say he tried to sell the team. Do you think anyone would be crazy enough to offer a 10-figure price? Is this franchise worth a billion dollars? Not right now.

      As for getting serious about winning, he thinks he's doing that now. One more change, this time featuring the hiring of tried and true football men, should do the trick.

  4. Failing to file the paperwork to the NFL clearing house may be the first sign that Cleveland’s luck is finally starting to turn around. Say McCarron’s play in the final eight games is so so and Haslam orders his people to use the first pick on a quarterback. That means you have a first, second, and third round picks from next year’s draft tied up tied up in one position. Picks that are no longer available to take a receiver or cornerback or whatever. (Not to mention the second from this year’s draft to take Kizer.)

    Cincinnati have only themselves to blame. As soon as Cleveland offered a second rounder, the should have yelled “done!!”. Got greedy and lost it all. As they say, pigs get slaughtered.

  5. The story out of Cincinnati is that they did everything correctly. They said yes and filed the paperwork. The Browns, depending on who you believe, did not file in time.

    As I stated, this could very well be a blessing in disguise. Because it became the trade that wasn't a trade, we'll never really know.