Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Sunday that "numerous" Cleveland coaches believe Brown "had no intention of actually completing the agreed-upon trade."
"We were all in it together," Brown told reporters Monday in response. "We were all disappointed it didn't happen."
It makes sense that Browns head coach Hue Jackson would want McCarron on the roster. They have previous experience working together when the former was an offensive coordinator for the Bengals.
While the Alabama product has little experience as a career backup to Andy Dalton, he could have helped stabilize the quarterback room for the winless Browns. Cleveland has shuffled through DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler this season.
Brown's comments come after Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported the documents the Bengals and Browns had regarding the potential trade didn't match. Cabot noted Cincinnati sent its paperwork to the league five minutes before the 4 p.m. ET deadline, but Cleveland sent its paperwork to the Bengals with the expectation they would then send it to the NFL.
Cincinnati apparently didn't see it until it was too late, but the fact the paperwork didn't match would have prevented league approval even if it was submitted in time.
As for McCarron's immediate future, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he filed a grievance against the Bengals with the hopes of becoming an unrestricted free agent instead of a restricted free agent after the 2017 campaign.
"McCarron's grievance dates back to his rookie season in 2014, when the Bengals drafted him in the fifth round," Schefter wrote. "McCarron initially passed his post-draft physical, but the Bengals placed him on the non-football injury (NFI) list at the start of training camp due to a shoulder issue."
Since McCarron wasn't activated until Dec. 9, 2014, he wasn't able to accrue enough time for a season to count toward his potential unrestricted free agency.