The Browns Did Another Browns Thing Today

The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns failed to work out a trade that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to Cleveland, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

According to Schefter, the Bengals notified the league of the proposed trade at 3:55 p.m. ET, and the Browns notified the league shortly after 4 p.m. ET. Because the Browns were late, the league denied the trade. Cleveland protested with the league asking that the trade be approved. The NFL rejected the Browns protest.

The proposed compensation for McCarron would have been a second- and third-round pick in 2018, a source confirmed to Schefter. The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the compensation.

McCarron has been the subject of trade rumors since the 2016 offseason after he filled in for an injured Andy Dalton and almost led the Bengals to their first playoff win under Marvin Lewis. He completed 66.4 percent of his passes in seven appearances during the 2015 regular season, throwing for six touchdowns and two interceptions. In his lone playoff start, he completed 23-of-41 passes for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Bengals said they would listen to offers for McCarron for the right price, and it seemed almost certain that McCarron would be elsewhere by the time the 2017 season came around. The team claimed quarterback Jeff Driskel off waivers last year with the intention of developing him if they got an acceptable offer for McCarron.

At the end of last season, McCarron expressed his appreciation to the organization, which sounded like he was preparing to say goodbye. However, a trade never materialized, and McCarron once again entered the season as Dalton’s backup. He has taken three snaps in 2017.

McCarron, taken in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, is in the final season of his rookie contract. However, the Bengals could retain his rights next season because he did not spend enough time on the active roster as a rookie to accrue a year toward free agency. An arbitrator will have to decide whether he is a restricted or unrestricted free agent in 2018.

 

“I am out of carrots. I am out of sticks. The Cleveland Browns front office have time and again proven themselves to be an unmanageable team. I recommend they be removed their position and reassigned to signing minor league baseball players where they belong.” – Jan Levenson’s Recommendation as it applies to the Browns

Of all the Browns things that have ever happened, ever, this is the most Browns. To celebrate a trade you haven’t even made yet, then call in said trade late, get that trade denied by the league, protest that decision and have it unanimously denied by the league again is a special level of incompetent. It borderline needs to be admired. To be THAT bad at your job is unparalleled.

Here’s the other thing: the Browns were about to trade more for AJ McCarron than the 49ers did for Jimmy G. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? AJ MCCARRON?? That bible thumping, tattoo chested LOSER?? An article I read today said he almost won a playoff game two years ago when Dalton was injured, like that was some sort of fucking accomplishment. He was throwing to AJ Green, Mohammed Sanu, and Tyler Eifert, and still LOST a playoff game.

In Cleveland? He’d be throwing to Ricardo Louis, David Njoku, and Kenny Britt. He couldn’t win a game with this team! NO ONE CAN! For the billionth time, a quarterback can’t solve a problem when your team has ZERO playmakers. LITERALLY NOT ONE!

So all in all, I think the Browns somehow saved themselves by screwing this up. To get rid of two draft picks for this fucking guy

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Would be vomit worthy. What hurts though, is that this is a new all time low for an organization who lives to redefine the phrase rock bottom. Do what’s right Sashi and co., and please just cancel the rest of this year for your sake and ours. Draft playmakers in this draft and THEN trade your picks for a sub par QB if you want. But please, for the love of God, avoid doing or saying anything for the rest of this year.

 

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Watching Joe Thomas’ First Experience as a Browns Fan was more Heartbreaking than the Game Itself

 

Poor, poor Joe. Having to go through a Browns game as a spectator on Sundays is a fate I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. The day usually starts with a glimmer of hope, which slips in to an aura of doubt, and by halftime is typically full blown depression followed by reading six different mock draft articles.

But the Browns were particularly brutal to Joe this week, by going into halftime with a lead. To a novice Browns fan, a halftime lead usually results in an internal debate where the Browns fan convinces themselves that if the second half is played EXACTLY like the first half, then maybe, just maybe, the Browns can pull this out. This was where Joe Thomas found himself yesterday.

But to the jaded masses of us who spend Sunday wallowing in a haze of self-pity, we all knew what was coming. The Browns scored a whopping 3 points in the second half while giving up 21, resulting in yet another double digit loss. Another game of no halftime adjustments, nor designing quick plays to get the ball out of Kizer’s hands. I hate to be the one to have to tell you this Joe (even though the odds of you reading this are incalculably farfetched) but expect more of the same.

This year is pretty much devoid of all hope, other than the possibility of another #1 overall pick. You hate to have to see Joe go through this season like the rest of us, but hope that maybe he’ll find a new source of empathy to those who willingly choose to watch this team play. So, I’d like to address Joe’s tweets in the hopes that he’ll learn the error in his misguided hope and join the rest of us in the sewers of Browns Twitter.

1.) No matter how good of a stop the defense has, the offense will reset any momentum to the natural Browns equilibrium.

2.)  While I value the sentiment, teams probably run out of TD celebration ideas when they reach the endzone for the fourth or fifth time against this defense, so can’t really blame them for that.

3.) Yes Joe, we ALWAYS need a turnover. They’re the Cleveland Browns.

And finally, this one:

No they’re not Joe, and they won’t be for the rest of this year.

Notre Dame NC State Preview: Stick to the Plan

Notre Dame takes on 14th ranked NC State today in South Bend in a rematch of one of the absolute WORST games of 2016. Actually, maybe not just 2016, but in all of football last year. This time in 2016 I was sitting on patio furniture in my studio apartment in Los Angeles watching these two teams attempt to play an entire football game during a driving hurricane. I was unaware that this hurricane had already hit North Carolina, and brazenly took the over of 51 in a game that finished 10-3 NC State, with the only touchdown coming from a blocked punt.

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But this year will be different than last, since a.) both teams are far more competent than they were last year and b.) to my knowledge, no hurricane is due to slam into South Bend, Indiana this afternoon. This game has potential to be a drop down drag out dog fight, with both teams running the ball in the trenches and trying to win battles at the line of scrimmage. Many articles I’ve read leading up to this week feel this is a “sneaky trap game” after the Irish absolutely pummeled USC last week and NC State coming off a bye.

Here’s the bottom line though: Notre Dame is just better than NC State. Sure, this game may stay close early, but to suggest that NC State is even remotely athletic as Notre Dame is on offense is insulting. Their defense is tough, but so is Notre Dame’s so they cancel out. Notre Dame has Wimbush and Adams running all over teams supported with arguably the best O-Line in college football, NC State does not. Advantage Irish.

At first, I told myself this screamed trap game, but the more I think about it I’m more worried about next week’s home game against Wake Forest being a trap. Coming off of two ranked wins and having to go to Miami the week after, that Wake Forest game scares the crap out of me. As for this week though, ND has too much talent for NC State to hang around all game. Plus, NC State may be looking ahead to their home game vs Clemson next week.

My words of advice are these: don’t panic if this game starts slow and stays close through halftime, this NC State team is good on defense. But the rushing attack of ND will win the day, as Adams will run for another 150+ yards and 2 scores. Go Irish. Beat Wolf Pack.

FINAL – Notre Dame: 38 NC State: 17

Notre Dame vs. USC Preview: The Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh

The setting: my living room. The date: October 15, 2005. The Game: #1 USC at #9 Notre Dame. The stage was set for Notre Dame to catapult themselves back into relevance with a win against the unstoppable USC Trojans, led by Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and Pete Carroll.

This game was different than any Notre Dame game I remember watching in my youth. For the first time in my cognizant life, Notre Dame looked good. It was a rare primetime night game in South Bend, Irish rocking their big game green jerseys that I had not seen in years. Charlie Weis and his Super Bowl pedigree had Irish fans excited, and you could feel the energy pulsing from that stadium through the TV screen. Notre Dame was up 4 late in the fourth and had USC pinned back to a 4th and 9 on their own 25. It felt at the time that everyone, even my family of cynics, was ready to believe again.

Then, he said it.

“All right, all we need to do here is not give up a 60 yard play.”

Whistle blows, the ball is snapped. Leinart drops back, and rops in a dime to Dwayne Jarret, who somehow got behind our secondary 61 yard play. The silence in my house was deafening. We couldn’t believe what we just saw. How do you let him get behind you? Did we never see this play on USC’s game tape? It was 4th and 9!

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And you know the rest. Stopped on the 1, Leinart rolls left on a QB sneak, Reggie Bush pushes him into the endzone, Notre Dame loses 34-31. The infamous “Bush Push” then set off a butterfly effect timeline of misery for we ND faithful. Seasons of making BCS Bowls and losing in punishing fashion, losing to UCONN, people like Jimmy Clausen and Dayne Christ playing QB for us, and to this day still having to pay off Charlie Weis for his mediocre tenure as head coach.

At the time, a 10 year old me blamed my Dad for the loss to USC, claiming he jinxed us and ruined the season. But the jaded, weathered 24 year old me knows better than that. That’s just Notre Dame football. Whenever Notre Dame has you ready to “wake up the echoes” they throw a pivotal INT to lose the game. Whenever they have you convinced they’ll, “win one for the gipper,” they give up a 75 yard bomb on busted coverage late in the fourth. To be miserable is to be a Notre Dame fan, and that’s just the way things are.

But Saturday, things will be different.

USC enters this game battered and bruised, especially on defense. While they’re linebackers are solid (as is tradition), they’re defensive line is crippled. Both their starting and backup nose tackles are injured, and starting d-end Rasheem Green is not playing due to an ankle injury. Additionally, Sam Darnold looks like he’s regressed a little this year without as many weapons on offense, and while still dangerous, that unit is not nearly as intimidating as they were last year. They’ll put up points, but so will the Irish.

The bottom line is there are very few teams that are more athletic than Notre Dame on offense (hope you read that sitting down). Wimbush is the best dual threat QB that will become a wideout in the NFL in the NCAA, and I am of firm belief that Josh Adams is the best pure running back in the country. Considering USC comes into the game starting reserves on the D-Line, I expect Adams to have a HUGE day running in between the tackles.

Which brings us to the “llave del partido.” If Notre Dame jumps out to an early lead in this game, like they’ve been able to against everyone all year, they’ll win this game. In a run happy offense, playing with a lead has been key for the Irish this year as they can control the clock and settle into a rhythm for the offensive line. If not, they’ll be forced to throw the ball in big spots and I’ve already said how I feel about Wimbush’s ability to throw a six yard in route. But, I don’t see the game going so poorly that it gets to that point.

If the definition of insanity is, “to do the same act over and over again expecting a different result,” then consider me a fucking lunatic, because I’m all in on Notre Dame to win this game Saturday night. Hope will be restored yet again in South Bend, Indiana, if only for a week.

Notre Dame: 38 USC: 27

Post Bye Week, Let’s Take a Look at Where Notre Dame Sits in the College Football Picutre

The bye week has come and gone for the Irish, so I thought I’d take this off week as an opportunity to reassess the year that’s been, and preview what’s on the horizon for the now 13th ranked team out of South Bend. Year in and year out Notre Dame’s bye week is typically my favorite week of the year, because it’s the only Saturday during college football season where I can act like a sane person, not stressed over how Notre Dame will find a way to lose this week. This bye week was particularly enjoyable, however, because with four ranked teams falling the Irish rose three spots without having to play a minute of football.

 

Truth be told, this year really hasn’t been all that bad watching Notre Dame. I’m often times too pessimistic about Notre Dame, so that’s about as high of a compliment you’ll get from me. But this team has won convincingly against teams they should beat, went on the road and beat Michigan St. soundly in a night game, and were one stupid penalty and two missed field goals away from beating Georgia, who’s now third in the country.

 

These wins have been team efforts too, which is stunning. A common trend for Notre Dame is one player or group shouldering the load that proves to be unsustainable (2012 defense, Brady Quinn, Michael Floyd). This year though, the team appears to be well balanced on both sides of the ball. Drue (crazy way to spell Drew) Tranquill has looked comfortable in the new defensive scheme as the Rover Linebacker, Wimbush is way more athletic than any QB has been in recent memory, and Josh Adams is having a sneaky Heisman worthy season without getting nearly enough love. He is ahead of Barkley in multiple rushing categories, including rushing yards and yards per attempt.

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All this being said, the second half of the schedule is BRUTAL for Notre Dame. They open up this week with a home game against an underachieving #11 USC, home again against #16 NC St which was the ugliest game of 2016 in a driving hurricane, Wake Forest, at #8 Miami, home against Navy who does nothing but score and run clock so that SCREAMS trap game, and finish the year at #22 Stanford. Four out of six opponents ranked in the top 25, and Navy just fell out of that poll a week ago.

 

If Notre Dame survives these six games and wins out there’s no conceivable way they’re left out of the playoff with their only loss coming from the SEC East Champion. The biggest issue facing this team will be stamina and I just don’t know if a run heavy offense will have enough gas to win all six of those games. Hell, having watched Notre Dame for almost 20 years of my life, it wouldn’t shock me if this team found a way to go 1-5 in these games and play in some bowl game I’ve never heard of like the Avocados from Mexico Bowl (which would actually be sick if a. it was a bowl game and b. they played it in Azteca in Mexico City).

 

But, because I seemingly refuse to learn my lesson, I genuinely believe this Irish team can pull this off. The games won’t be fun to watch, my Saturdays will be filled with stress and a looming threat of heartbreak, but I’m all in on this team finding their way into the four-team playoff. Run the ball, eat up clock, the defense will bend not break. It all starts this weekend with USC.

 

Wake up the fucking echoes.

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