You could (and should) say that the Browns have needs at nearly every position on the field, but none is more pressing than that of the quarterback position. The quarterbacks continued to be a mess in 2009, as Brady Quinn did very little to instill confidence in not only the fan base, but, more importantly, in the eyes of team president Mike Holmgren. As for Derek Anderson, he’s as good as gone, as no one expects the Browns to pay his $2 million roster bonus due March 19th.
However, saying the free agent market for quarterbacks is thin is more than an understatement. Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer ranks Jason Campbell (Washington), Matt Moore (Carolina), and A.J. Feely (Carolina) as the three-best free agent quarterbacks. In other words, barf. Luckily the Browns have been active in trying to trade for a QB, the rumors mostly surrounding Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb of Philadelphia. Because of his connection to Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks has also been linked to the Browns.
The prevailing thought, then, is that the Browns will look for a quarterback in a trade. At the same time, there is always the draft to look forward to. With the seventh overall pick, a QB like Sam Bradford could be in their sights, though his value has been rising as of late. If that leaves Jimmy Clausen, forget about it. There are other potential picks later in Colt McCoy and Dan LeFevour, but they wouldn’t be expected to produce right off the bat. Of course, neither would Bradford, so that leaves the Browns desperately searching for a veteran QB.
And if the Browns don’t land a quarterback through a trade or in the draft? That leaves the oddly beleaguered Brady Quinn, who continues to receive a raw deal with Cleveland. He has never been given a full season to prove himself, but he has been able to prove that he is injury-prone. Sometimes the best thing for a guy like Quinn is a change of scenery.
The quarterback position is in a state of disarray, which has to change if the team wants any hope of improving the offense (though it couldn’t get much worse). Something has to be done, which suddenly makes the acquisition of a quarterback essential not just for the team, but for the mindset of the fan base as well.