Marvin Lewis at his 15th AFC Coaches Media Breakfast.
If Marvin Lewis went into his 15th annual NFL meeting looking to make 0.0 headlines, mission accomplished.
Ironically, it was his lone joke during Tuesday's 63-minute session that came the closest to getting a few clicks. Told the Bengals should ask Cleveland for the 12th pick in next month's draft in exchange for backup quarterback Andy Dalton, Lewis instead offered, "How about No. 1 ?"
Everybody got a good laugh at the AFC Coaches Media Breakfast, but Lewis may be closer to the truth that is emerging from the Arizona Biltmore this week. If the Browns want McCarron (and it seems like the Bengals are wondering if they have any serious interest at all because Lewis indicated no one has called) they'll have to prepare to pay. And maybe that top pick in the second round won't be enough.
"AJ McCarron is a valuable member of our football team," Lewis said. "No one has asked to trade him. We're not going to go out and seek a trade for AJ McCarron. He's a valuable member of the team. We've said that how many times?"
Apparently not enough because the buzz is still out there. Lewis said the presence of an unproven left tackle hasn't figured into the pros and cons about keeping an experienced backup quarterback.
"Never thought about it," Lewis said.
But it sure sounds like old friend and Browns head coach Hue Jackson is thinking about McCarron, the 2014 draft pick Jackson used to very nearly steal a 2015 Wild Card Game in his last game as the Bengals offensive coordinator. It sure sounds like the Browns have some interest.
Bengals president Mike Brown may be uneasy about trading a QB in the AFC North, but not Jackson.
"Regardless of what team it is. Regardless of what division it is," Jackson said of potential trades. "Normally the saying, if the price is right people do whatever you need them to do. So I think anything is possible until it's not."
Lewis on other topics:
_The media came after Lewis heavily on the status of cornerback Adam Jones, facing a couple of misdemeanor charges after a felony was dropped stemming from an incident at a downtown hotel the day after the season. He remained with a no comment.
"His case continues to move forward. It will be whatever it is," said Lewis and when asked if gets weary of such transgressions he said, "I don't answer the question. Not a question I need to answer."
_Lewis was also asked of the club's impression of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon after the Bengals interviewed him in Norman and then hosted him at Paul Brown Stadium earlier this month. Mixon sat out a season for punching a woman.
"We were glad Joe chose to come visit us and we will leave it at that," Lewis said.
_Lewis said he talked to Bengals left end Carlos Dunlap about his tweet that appeared to question the franchise's plan after four players signed with other clubs in the first few days of free agency and came away satisfied with his answer.
"What he meant was I don't see the plan because it's not my job to see the plan," Lewis said. "His response was that's not my job. He's not saying I don't see the plan, because I'm not the planner. He was responding to a question, that's all.
"He didn't mean anything derogatory about it. Just not my responsibility. Just my job is to be the best defensive end in the National Football League.
_According to the NFL, owners approved a spate of playing rules Tuesday before they broke the meetings late in the afternoon. The proposall to cut overtime by five minutes was tabled.
They prohibited the "leaper" block attempt on field goal and extra point plays. They made permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. They kept in place the change of the spot of a touchback after a kickoff to the 25-yard line for the 2017 season. They gave a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.
They also made crack-back blocks illegal if it's by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped. They replaced the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorized designated members of the officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews. They made it unsportsmanlike conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock and they made actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.