McCarron could still wind up playing for Browns if Hue Jackson reportedly gets his way

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 file photo, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron throws during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis. A proposed trade between the Browns and Bengals involving quarterback A.J. McCarron fell through when paperwork was not filed to the NFL before the 4 p.m. deadline, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson reportedly has his way then AJ McCarron will wind up playing for the Cleveland Browns after all.

It was at the trade deadline on Oct. 31 last year when McCarron, who was then the Bengals backup quarterback, appeared to be heading to the Browns in a trade. But when the deal got botched or sabotaged or whatever the reason he remained with the Bengals for the rest of the season.

McCarron is now an unrestricted free agent and the Browns are not surprisingly one of the team's interested in signing him, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

"This comes from an executive with a historically reliable ear to the ground: Cleveland ... is still exceedingly interested in signing free-agent quarterback A.J. McCarron and then backstopping him with a rookie quarterback in the draft," King wrote. "I’m hearing that’s coach Hue Jackson’s preference, having coached McCarron in Cincinnati as Bengals offensive coordinator."

DeShone Kizer started 15 games at quarterback for the Browns last season after being taken in the second round of the 2017 draft, but completed just 53.6 percent of his passes, threw more interceptions (22) than touchdowns (11) and had a passer rating of 60.5.

McCarron has just four career starts under his belt (three in the regular season and one in the playoffs), but is expected to draw some interest on the free agent market from teams in need of a quarterback.

McCarron has a career regular-season passer rating of 93.6, but has only thrown 133 passes in his career.

The free agency signing period begins on March 14.

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