This past week, Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden said he welcomed any competition for the starting job this season. From the looks of it, he’s probably going to get it. With a lackluster rookie season under his belt (though it had plenty of impressive moments as well), Weeden is facing an unconvinced front office that might be looking to make its own mark on the quarterback position.
But will Michael Lombardi, Joe Banner, or Rob Chudzinski be able to do that this season?
If the Browns draft a quarterback come April, it won’t be to challenge for Weeden’s job, unless they somehow find a Russell Wilson-like gem, and the odds of that happening are nearly astronomical.
The Browns’ best bet – if they were truly obsessed with replacing Weeden – will come from free agency. But what’s available that will get the team excited? Alex Smith is the biggest name out there, but he’ll have other suitors and it’s unclear how much of an upgrade he’d be in a Chudzinski-led offense. Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn could be had, but he couldn’t beat out Russell Wilson. The team isn’t expected to pursue Patriots backup Ryan Mallett and names like the Cardinals’ Brian Hoyer and the Saints’ Chase Daniel are laughable.
Players like Kevin Kolb and Matt Cassel should really put to rest any notion that the Browns should pursue another team’s backup (and yes, that includes Alex Smith). They need to rely on their own talent evaluations and eventually find a franchise quarterback through the draft. If that happens this year, so be it.
But there isn’t much competition out there for Weeden, no matter what the Browns say. Barring a miracle draft pick, he’ll be getting another shot in a new offense in 2013.