The Browns have been sending out mixed signals regarding whether they want to keep coach Hue Jackson. With Marvin Lewis reportedly out in Cincinnati (although he denies that he’s leaving), a theory/hypothesis is emerging in some league circles.

What if the Browns try to trade Jackson to the Bengals?

Trades for head coaches remain permissible, although they don’t happen in the same way that player trades occur. First, the teams involved strike a deal regarding compensation in the event a contract can be negotiated between the new team and the coach. Second, the new team tries to work out a contract with the coach.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has twice said publicly that he wants Jackson to return in 2018. One league source told PFT that Haslam is saying the same thing privately. But new G.M. John Dorsey recently evaded during a radio interview a direct question about whether Jackson will be back.