AJ McCarron describes total chaos of the trade that almost sent him to the Browns

For roughly three minutes in October, AJ McCarron thought that he had been traded to the Cleveland Browns

In what will easily go down as one of the most bizarre situations of the 2017 season, the Bengals and Browns appeared to have a trade in place on Oct. 31 that was going to send McCarron to Cleveland in a deal that would give the Bengals two draft picks (a second and third round pick in 2018). 

However, the trade never went down because the Browns apparently forgot to send some paperwork to the NFL. The situation was so crazy that even Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was at a loss for words after the deal didn't happen

Although McCarron did talk about the botched trade during a media session on November 1, he never really went into detail on how things went down from his point of view. 

So how crazy did things get for McCarron that day?

The Bengals backup quarterback finally described the situation during an interview with WNSP-FM in Mobile, Alabama

"It was an odd deal," McCarron said, via AL.com. "I got a text from my agent at 3:34 saying 'Hey, there's a possible trade going down. Stay by your phone. I'll let you know.'"

At that point, McCarron waited 26 minutes before he finally got another update from his agent. During that time, McCarron had no idea if he'd be staying in Cincinnati or if he'd be getting shipped off to Cleveland. 

"I got another call from him right at 4 saying 'From what I know, it's a done deal. I'll call you back in a minute and let you know," McCarron said. 

Basically, at 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 31, McCarron thought he was headed to Cleveland, but then that all changed just three minutes later.  

"The next call I got was at 4:03 and [my agent says] 'Hey, the trade didn't go through. They didn't get the paperwork in on time,'" McCarron said. "Everybody has a story. I'm sure Cleveland has their own story, Cincy has their own story. But it's just one of those things, when you think you've seen everything, you're shown a little bit more. I think the only people who truly know what happened were the ones leading the whole situation on both sides."

According to multiple reports, it was the Browns who botched the trade after they "forgot" to file the proper paperwork with the league. McCarron was actually hoping he would get traded for two big reasons. For one, it would have allowed him a chance to become a starting quarterback, and two, it would have reunited him with former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.  

"As a competitor, I wanted that opportunity, just to be able to showcase and help a team win ball games," McCarron said. "I think I would have had some success playing for Hue. I would have loved the opportunity to go up there and get them a win, more than one win. As a competitor, that's all you can ask for."

Although McCarron is currently stuck with the Bengals, there's a chance he could become a free agent in February, but it's a complicated situation. McCarron's four-year rookie deal is set to to expire after the 2017 season, but there's one small catch: No one seems sure if he'll be a restricted free agent or an unrestricted free agent. 

Generally speaking, any rookie selected in the second through seventh round of the draft will become an unrestricted free agent -- and can sign with any team -- after their four-year rookie deal expires. However, McCarron's situation is slightly different.  

The Bengals quarterback spent most his rookie season on the NFI (non-football injury) list, and therefore, didn't accrue a season of playing time, so the Bengals are arguing that McCarron should be a restricted free agent. 

If that happens, the Bengals could put a first-, second- or fifth-round tender on him, which means a team would have to give them a draft pick if they were to sign McCarron in March. However, if McCarron wins his case, then he would become an unrestricted free agent and he'd be free to sign with any team. 

Right now, the case is still up in the air, but it's expected to be decided on Feb. 15. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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