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AJ McCarron reacts to fumbled trade between Bengals and Browns

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AJ McCarron shares what happened while being involved in one of the most bizarre things to happen during the trade deadline.

NFL: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns nearly completed a trade that would have sent AJ McCarron to the Browns.

The Browns ended up messing it up by not getting the deal through in time for the trade deadline. The Browns would have sent their second and third-round picks to the Bengals as a part of the trade as well.

Plenty have weighed in on the situation, but what about the man who was the piece who was almost on the move? McCarron talked about the process after practice Wednesday.

“It’s hard to answer [how it felt going through the trade process] truthfully,” McCarron told reporters. “Cause you’re sitting there with your family getting ready for Halloween, dressing the little man up. Then you get a call that you’re going somewhere, and then you try to figure out what’s happening, and then you’re not [getting traded].”

Probably something that did get lost while this whole thing was happening is this all went down on the night of Halloween, and McCarron is a person like the rest of us just trying to enjoy the holiday. McCarron was also blindsided by the whole thing, as he didn’t think he was getting traded.

“No. I came in here worked out and watched film. Did my usual Tuesday deal, and then I went home and was getting ready for Halloween.”

The other interesting part of this is he was told by his agent that the deal was done, which meant he had to have had that feeling of being a Brown for a minute. However, he found out like the rest of us that it didn’t end up happening.

“I guess [I found out] when everyone else found out, on Twitter,” McCarron Said. “My agent said they were writing an appeal for the trade, and I got a call later on that it didn’t. It got rejected.”

McCarron overall though was very complimentary of Mike Brown after the fallout, which makes sense because he didn’t come to the NFL to be a backup. He has been a great backup quarterback for the Bengals, but to think he will remain here for the rest of his career as a backup isn’t realistic, because he is a competitor. Something he also touched on.

“Today I’m going to thank Mr. Brown personally,” McCarron said. “I admire that he was going to give me an opportunity to start and play somewhere. I really appreciate that of him. He’s been an unbelievable owner for my experience here. I really appreciated that.”

He said his immediate reaction to the news was being “excited.” However it was more about the opportunity as a competitor and reuniting with his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. He is still very committed to the Bengals.

“I’m blessed either way [playing for the Browns or the Bengals]. I’m living out my dream playing in the NFL. I have a beautiful family and everyone is healthy. It would have been awesome, but at the same time I’m focused on my job here now and being the best backup, the best scout team guy [and] whatever I need to be for us to help win. I’m just blessed. There are no hard feelings either way. It’s just a good time to be living now I guess.”

McCarron couldn’t have handled this whole thing any better. Some guys might have come to work upset the next day, but he seemed ready to laugh it off. You could even here during the interviews several players shout out jokes like “it’s fake news.” McCarron’s favorite joke came from Vontaze Burfict.

“Tez said they were going to be tagging me if I played against them. I stuck up both arms in a muscle form and said ‘come get some’.”

It is great that McCarron doesn’t have any hard feelings. The quarterback is a very valuable back up for this team. In 2015 when Andy Dalton went down with an injury, McCarron threw for six touchdowns with two interception completing about 66 percent of his passes. He also started the playoff game that year against the Steelers, and he nearly managed to lead them to a victory.

Considering how bad the offensive line has been this season, it isn’t crazy to think that McCarron may not come into play at some point. We have already seen Dalton walk off a few injuries this year.

McCarron becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Bengals will likely hit him with a first round tender that will end up paying him around $4 million. The following season he would become an unrestricted free agent.

As far as McCarron’s reaction to the trade being derailed by paper work?

“I’ve learned in the NFL that anything is possible,” McCarron said with a smile. “It’s odd, but it is what it is.”