The Cleveland Browns may draft and sign a free agent quarterback this offseason. According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Browns head coach Hue Jackson strongly prefers to go into the 2018 season with free-agent quarterback A.J. McCarron as his starter.

The Browns had a deal in place in October to acquire McCarron from the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the trade fell through at the last minute, as the Browns failed to send in their approval to the league in time because they were reportedly too busy celebrating the deal.

McCarron filed a grievance with the Bengals and won, which means he will be an unrestricted free agent when the league year starts on March 14. He is expected to get “significant, starting quarterback money,” per

Jackson called plays for McCarron during the quarterback’s only bit of extended action, which amounted to four starts late in the 2015 season. McCarron went 2-2 as a starter, throwing seven touchdowns against three interceptions to lead a talented Bengals squad to a division championship and a home playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCarron threw for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss, which included a go-ahead touchdown pass to A.J. Green with less than two minutes to go.

King’s report indicated the Browns would like to sign McCarron and use either the first or fourth overall pick in the draft on a rookie quarterback like USC’s Sam Darnold or Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Since the Browns have those two picks at the top of the draft, the expectation is that they will use one of them on a quarterback and one on another talented, potentially transformative player, like Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. In that scenario, McCarron would start until whoever they draft is ready to take over.

The Browns have roughly $110 million in salary-cap space as well as 12 draft picks in 2018.

GettyImages-876335458 The Cleveland Browns reportedly want to sign A.J. McCarron. Quarterback AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws as he warms up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images