There hasn’t been a great deal in the way of clarity this offseason when it comes to the Cleveland Browns and the quarterback position, an area of the team that basically has not been settled since before they became the Ravens. The only thing that seems to be settled is that their long-term option at the position is not on the roster—not even Brock Osweiler, whom they just traded for, along with his $16 million in guaranteed salary.
The Browns passed up the opportunity to draft Carson Wentz with the second-overall pick last season, instead heading into last season with Robert Griffin III, whom they signed in free agency to a two-year contract. He was released this offseason, along with Josh McCown, who was their primary starter the previous season.
While they did trade for Osweiler, as I have already touched on a number of times, there appears to be no intention of actually starting him at any point. The team’s owner just talked recently and openly about the possibility of trading him again, since he was only acquired as part of a deal to gain a second-round pick.
There have been widespread rumors about the possibility of trading for a quarterback that they intend to start, with a conversation that has centered primarily around Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who started two games last season before getting injured, and playing well in that time.
The Patriots are reportedly not eager to give him up by any means, and Cleveland beat writers have been provided information from sources stating that it would take a deal that includes the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to get it done.
According to Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson, that is not happening. Speaking to reporters yesterday at the league meetings, the second-year coach was pretty direct in answering a question about the subject of trading away their top selection. “No” was his response; “I can tell you no on that one”.
Local writers have connected Cleveland to Myles Garrett, in spite of the fact that he joked that the Cowboys should trade with the Browns to draft him. The talented edge defender is generally regarded as the top player in the draft.
Jackson didn’t rule out trading their other first-round draft pick, which is the 12th overall, in order to acquire a quarterback, however. He even used the word “hopefully” to describe potential “trading opportunities” that may arise over the next month or so.
While noting that he can’t talk about other teams’ players, Jackson did seem to allude to Garoppolo when he told reporters that “you guys know all kind of trades do happen”. He continued, “regardless of what team it is, what division it is. Normally the saying is, ‘if the price is right, people do whatever you need them to do’. So I think anything is a possibility until it’s not”.
Unless it involves the first-overall pick.