According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Cleveland has contacted Cincinnati about what it would take to get McCarron, but it sounds like the asking price may be too steep.
"From my understanding the price on McCarron is high," Rapoport reported on Draft Kickoff Live on Friday. "It has been described to me as around a first-round draft pick, something that is just not going to happen. Now that the Browns have a second-round pick, maybe there will be some package in there somewhere that both sides can make work. If the Bengals are going to give up McCarron, it's going to have to be a huge, huge haul."
Since Round 1 of the draft has already passed and Cincinnati reportedly wanted a first-round pick in exchange for McCarron, the Bengals will want at least Cleveland’s second-round selection at No. 52 and another pick. The Browns already gave up the No. 33 overall pick to the Packers in exchange for their first round pick, with which they selected tight end David Njoku out of Miami.
The Browns are in bad shape at quarterback with either Cody Kessler or Brock Osweiler set to be the starter next season. That could cause Cleveland to make a desperation trade for McCarron.
The previous connection between McCarron and Browns head coach Hue Jackson also should help get a deal done if there’s one to be made. Jackson probably knows McCarron gives him a better shot to win than Kessler or Osweiler, the latter of which they may cut this offseason.
I would venture to guess Cincinnati wants the Browns second-round pick (51st overall) and third-round pick (65th overall) to give up McCarron. It’s even possible that Cincinnati wants a first-round pick in the 2018 draft from the Browns, something they almost certainly won’t give up.
You can’t blame the Bengals for wanting a big haul for McCarron after he’s shown he can pick up the slack if Andy Dalton is injured, but with his contract expiring soon, they need to take whatever offer for him they can get.
Still, I don’t see a trade getting done. The Bengals will ask for too much, and Cleveland would probably rather see if they can get a different quarterback instead of giving up premium draft capital.
Per Josina Anderson, there haven’t actually been trade talks and it’s just a rumor. Clearly, people are putting out different takes and truths on the situation.