Schefter reported that the two teams had agreed to a trade at 3:55 p.m EST, right before the 4 p.m. deadline. The Bengals approved the trade but the Browns did not. The Browns reportedly disputed the proposed trade with the NFL, saying it should be allowed even though it arrived a few minutes late. However the NFL declined.
The Cincinnati Enquirerreported that the Browns would have sent a second and third-round pick to the Bengals in exchange for McCarron.
McCarron filled in for quarterback Andy Dalton for seven games in the 2015, going 79–for–119 with six touchdowns. He made one playoff appearance that year. He has not taken a snap this season.
McCarron, who was taken in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, is in the final year of his rookie contract.
The Bengals (3-4) next face the Jaguars.
Cleveland hasn't won a game this season and next face Detroit on Nov. 12.