Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the "gulf" between Brown and head coach Hue Jackson is "well known" throughout the league. Jackson was the Bengals offensive coordinator when they drafted McCarron and is known to have a high opinion of the former Alabama signal-caller.
The Browns had agreed to trade a second- and third-round pick to Cincinnati for McCarron at the deadline but failed to submit the proper paperwork by the 4 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday.
The reported compensation level seemed high—especially coming a day after the New England Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round pick. Garoppolo and McCarron are both set to be free agents this offseason. Sentiment around the NFL and past performances would indicate Garoppolo is a more highly regarded quarterback, and McCarron was a former fifth-round pick.
If true, the Browns front office may have gotten cold feet about the compensation package and decided to purposefully pull out of the deal at the last minute. That would be out of step with how things are usually done around the league; once deals are verbally agreed to, they are typically completed and sent to NFL offices without a hitch.
The strange situation here is made all the more curious by Jackson's tenuous job status. The Browns are 1-23 under Jackson, and the overwhelming odds are he will be fired at the end of the season. Adding a Jackson-approved quarterback would only make things more difficult for whoever winds up coaching Cleveland in 2018.