The Cleveland Browns have reportedly been busy calling around the league looking for a veteran quarterback to bring on board.
The Cleveland Browns on numerous opportunities to fix the ongoing quarterback issue during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
That may have been because they were busy calling other teams about their backup quarterbacks.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns were reportedly working the phones to see about the availability of New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron.
The rumored interest in Garoppolo is certainly not new as media reports have speculated for months that the Browns would of course be interested in the latest Patriots backup quarterback destined to be the league’s next great quarterback.
The McCarron interest, while newer, has been floated out there before, primarily because McCarron is familiar with head coach Hue Jackson’s offense after spending the 2015 season together in Cincinnati.
While the idea of acquiring either Garoppolo or McCarron has its downside, which we will get to in a moment, the notion that the Browns are calling around the league fits in with what executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said during his Thursday night press conference, according to the team’s website:
"“Yeah, we need to solidify the quarterback position. It’s not solidified right now. We know that we need the guys here to work their tails off, and Hue is going to develop them as much as possible and push them to be their best. We also know that until we get it solidified, we are going to continue looking for players all over the league and in college. That may be in next year’s draft. That may be in free agency. It may be via trade. We won’t rest until really solidify that position, but again (QBs) Brock (Osweiler), Cody (Kessler), Kevin (Hogan) are here working hard and we’re going to support them as best as we can.”"
Not exactly a huge vote of confidence for the players currently occupying the quarterback room in Berea.
Even knowing that, there is little appeal to seeing Garoppolo or McCarron in Orange and Brown.
We’ve been over it repeatedly with Garoppolo: if he is really anything more than a backup quarterback, then the Patriots would have no intention of trading him. They need all the protection they can get in case Tom Brady, who will turn 40 before the start of the 2017 season, gets injured.
Plus, the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans all paid large prices to select quarterbacks in the first round of the draft; why is it that none of them were swinging a deal for Garoppolo?
As for McCarron, well, take a look at this from Pro Football Focus and then come back to us about why the Browns should be pursuing him:
"A.J. McCarron’s career is 341 snaps old as backup to Bengals starter Andy Dalton. Over that span, he has graded out below average for Pro Football Focus (72.6), and he took just two snaps in the 2016 season, but he did have a two-game stretch a year ago where he looked good, beating up on the 49ers and (more impressively) holding his own against one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, the Denver Broncos, a week later. His problem is that—unlike Garoppolo—he had the opportunity to put bad play on tape as well, so even though he has more NFL experience than the Patriots’ backup, and has shown at least as much positive play, he has tarnished that upside with the threat of the bad that he could produce."
There is also the problem that Bengals owner Mike Brown still holds a grudge for Cleveland firing his father, Hall of Fame head coach Paul Brown, and has never made a trade with Cleveland. If the Browns are interested in a Cincinnati player, let’s just say that the likely of Mike Brown being reasonable is … questionable.
It’s a positive sign that Brown and Jackson realize the current quarterback situation is not ideal and that they continue to work to try to fix it.
There just have to be better options out there than Garoppolo and McCarron.