It requires a pretty deep trust in the Browns’ incompetence to believe that their attempt to trade with the Bengals for A.J. McCarron was really undone by their own inability to file simple paperwork in a timely manner. Trust in the Cleveland Browns’ incompetence is pretty well-placed trust, sure, but some people were apparently still left looking for other answers—like, say, the possibility that the Browns intentionally fucked this one up in order to screw with the Bengals?

Nope. Cleveland’s executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown would like you to know that there was no strategy or intelligence of any kind behind this mistake. To those who would accuse them of foul play here:

“That’s wholly untrue... To sabotage a trade just wouldn’t make any sense,” Brown told reporters today. “...They had our paperwork, we had theirs and then it was incumbent upon us to send it in.”

The Browns are not playing four-dimensional chess. They’re just inept.