Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson still loves A.J., but from afar


Even though Hue Jackson never got his reunion with QB A.J. McCarron, the Cleveland Browns head coach did put in a word for him with the Buffalo Bills

The Cleveland Browns have been tied to quarterback A.J. McCarron ever since the failed trade at the deadline in 2017. After the Browns tried to send a second-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for his services, it seemed to be a sure thing he would be a part of the plans in Cleveland in 2018.

That never happened though as the Browns instead made a trade for Tyrod Taylor, the former Buffalo Bills starter. With him under contract, there was no need to go for McCarron, who wound up replacing Taylor with Buffalo.

Not surprisingly, Browns head coach Hue Jackson spoke to the Bills about McCarron. Jackson was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati for McCarron’s first two seasons in the league, and told Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane that they should target McCarron to fill their void on the roster.

"“I actually spoke to Hue Jackson the night before we signed him, texted with two other coaches of his that I know,” Beane said in a press conference Friday according to Mary Kay Cabot of “And the one word they told me about AJ that got me fired up was ‘competitor’ and I love that.”"

Jackson has always been the biggest supporter of McCarron, and many fans may have been slightly concerned that the head coach would try and skip out on drafting a rookie at No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft if he was able to get the one he covets so strongly.

It’s fortunate that this didn’t transpire as Taylor is a much more proven commodity — and cost the team less than A.J. would have. There’s also a much stronger belief they will target a youngster to groom without Jackson having his chosen one.

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But at least Hue was still able to help McCarron land a job. And maybe when the Browns move on, McCarron can return the favor and recommend his former mentor as an assistant coach.