Report: Cleveland Browns not actively involved in Colin Kaepernick trade
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns interest in Colin Kaepernick may not be as heavy as anticipated, but the club is still looking at Robert Griffin III.
The Cleveland Browns have been linked as a potential trade destination for San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but that speculation may not have originated from the Browns.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown met with the media today at the annual NFL owner’s meetings and threw some cold water on the idea that the Browns were anywhere close to swinging a deal for Kaepernick.
“All of those discussions were very preliminary, way over reported, period,” Brown said, according to ohio.com. “But [we’re] not actively engaged with San Francisco and at this point don’t anticipate being actively engaged with San Francisco, but I know it’s that time of year when something can catch a headline.
“All of those discussions were very preliminary, way over reported, period.” – Sashi Brown on Colin Kaepernick trade talks
“So and so is reporting we’ve got into contract negotiations and draft-pick negotiations with San Francisco that just weren’t happening. We were called about whether or not we’d have some interest and had some very preliminary discussions, and it didn’t go much further than that.”
Related: Browns should give RG3 a chance
The Browns were reportedly willing to send a third-round draft pick to the 49ers, but only if Kaepernick was willing to renegotiate his contract, which calls for him to make $11.9 million in 2016. But according to ESPN, it was Kaepernick’s agent that made contact with the Browns in the hopes of building a market for a quarterback that has fallen out of favor in San Francisco.
With the focus off of Kaepernick, speculation will now turn to the possibility of the Browns signing free agent quarterback Robert Griffin III, who met with the Browns over the weekend. Brown told cleveland.com that while the team is “moving forward” on possibly signing Griffin, the Browns are still doing their homework and that they do not expect to do anything in the near future.
Like Kaepernick, Griffin is on the market after injuries and the league’s adjustment to his style of play turned into a drain on his production and effectiveness as an NFL quarterback. A former second-overall draft selection by the Washington Redskins, Griffin was released on March 7 after falling out of favor with the team and being inactive for the entire 2015 season. In addition to the Browns, he has visited the New York Jets, but neither team has looked to offer him a contract.
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As a rookie Griffin passed for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for 815 yards and seven touchdowns, in leading Washington to the playoffs. Injuries have limited him to just 22 games in the past three seasons, however, and he threw 18 interceptions and was only 5-15 as a starter.
Just don’t tell that to head coach Hue Jackson, who is quickly demonstrating that he loves quarterbacks almost as much as ESPN analyst and alleged quarterback guru Jon Gruden.
“He’s had success. Obviously unquestionable success,” Jackson said of RG3, according to ESPN. “He’s got a lot of characteristics that you look for. Everybody’s looking for where’s the hook? Obviously things didn’t go as well on the end part of his career there. But as we all know those things happen with players. Sometimes it’s environment, sometimes it’s change in environment, sometimes change in situations.
“He’s talented. And he’s a good guy, and I think he likes to play.”
No matter what the Browns ultimately do with Griffin or another veteran quarterback, Brown said it will have impact on whether or not the team drafts a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft.
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The NFL Draft will take place April 28-30 in Chicago. Be sure to follow Dawg Pound Daily to keep up with everything the Browns are trying to do while they go through their latest biennial rebuilding project.