Cabot noted McDaniels interviewed with the Browns for seven hours Friday, with the two sides coming away without any agreement in place.
Some wondered whether Cleveland is looking in a different direction.
The Patriots are out of the playoffs, so McDaniels is free to accept an outside coaching opportunity.
Cabot also reported the Browns have formally requested permission to interview two candidates for their general manager vacancy: Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry and Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds. CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora noted how each reflected a possible shift away from McDaniels:
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Cleveland has "expressed interest" in pursuing Buffalo Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, who would match up with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, another contender for head coach.
Browns co-owner Jimmy Haslam told reporters earlier this month the team planned to hire a head coach first and allow the coach to offer his input in the GM search.
McDaniels has voluntarily walked away from the Browns before. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in January 2014 he stepped back when Cleveland was looking to replace Rob Chudzinski. Schefter said McDaniels didn't feel the timing was right to return to the head coaching ranks.
The 43-year-old also had an agreement in place with the Colts before backtracking and returning to New England in February 2018.
The Browns are the only team still looking for a head coach.