In a situation that will likely cause red flags around both Cincinnati and the NFL, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson and owner Jimmy Haslem were seen chatting with Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron before kickoff Sunday afternoon.
— Andrew Catalon (@AndrewCatalon) November 26, 2017
First off, we’re all going to be drawn to the optics here. McCarron is set to become a free agent following the season. Jackson coached him in Cincinnati.
And if it wasn’t for some paperwork snafu late last month, Cincinnati was set to trade McCarron to the Browns.
Recent reports also suggest that Cleveland’s ownership put the front office on blast after the failed trade. That was followed by another report indicating that there might be a power struggle between Jackson and the Browns’ front office this upcoming offseason.
At 0-10 on the season, things obviously aren’t going swimmingly for the Browns and their head coach. Whether this specific meeting adds to the disaster remains to be seen.
NFL rules prohibit contact between organizations and players under contract with other teams. We’ve seen interactions of this ilk on the field in the past. But the link between McCarron and the Browns could potentially catch the eye of the NFL.
It will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.