It would be an understatement to say many in the media who cover the Browns are obsessed with the quarterback position.
It is literally all some of them talk about.
We feel the Browns will address the position this off-season, either through the draft, using one of their four choices in the first and second rounds, or by trading for a veteran currently a back up on another team.
Most of the speculation on the latter centers around New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo or Cincinnati’s A.J. McCarron.
Should the Browns go after either of these passers, who both will be free agents at the end of the 2017 season?
We liked Garoppolo coming out of the draft in 2014, but the Browns went in another direction.
It has been reported that the Patriots want the same price as the Eagles got for veteran Sam Bradford, that being a first and fourth round pick.
The difference is that Bradford had 64 NFL starts under his belt, while Garoppolo has just two. So, the first thing would be for Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio to get back to reality and set their sights a little lower.
Of course, they may say if they can’t get that price, they will go ahead and keep Jimmy G. and continue to groom him as Tom Brady’s replacement.
Garoppolo came into the NFL as a guy with a good arm and a very quick release, which would be a sharp contrast from the quarterbacks the Browns used in 2016, who seemed to hold the ball forever.
In his two starts with the Patriots this season, he completed 42 of his 59 throws for 496 yards and four touchdowns. Keep in mind, he has Patriots machine, the best franchise in pro football over the last 15 years, behind him.
So the question is how much would you give up for a little used young quarterback who has been around the league for three years.
The difference between Garoppolo and the others in the Tom Brady back up club (Matt Cassell, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Mallett) is that he is the highest draft choice of the quartet.
Cassell wasn’t a starter at USC, Hoyer was a free agent from Michigan State and Mallett was a third rounder, and had a bad senior season. Garoppolo was a second round choice, and probably would have gone in the first round had he played for a major college program.
So when people say to be wary of trading for a Brady backup, be advised that Garoppolo is a cut above the rest.
However, that doesn’t mean the Browns should give up the 12th overall pick for a guy who has started just two NFL games.
On the other hand, why not move the first pick in the second round?
As we wrote earlier, the Browns are likely to address quarterback with one of the picks they have in the first or second round, and if you are going to draft one, you might as well trade for someone who has two more NFL starts than anyone you will draft.
And if you aren’t going to draft a QB this year, then surely you would use a high pick on a passer in 2018.
The best option might just be Jimmy Garoppolo, especially if DeShaun Watson is gone before the 12th selection based on his performance in last night’s title game.
Why not deal for a guy with at least a slight track record of success in the NFL?