Cleveland Browns: The quarterback situation entering 2018

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Adding a QB via free agency

The Browns have the youngest team in the NFL and they likely will again in 2018. The front office will be entering year three of their five-year plan (if they are kept on board by Jimmy Haslam). This will be the time to start adding W’s in the win column and losing will directly reflect on them at this point.

The best way for that youth to evolve into a winning football team is by actually winning. And throwing some money at a proven, veteran quarterback can help develop the playmakers Cleveland needs to step up.

The Browns do have salary cap space, yes. Though, they are going to begin extending their drafted players in the near future, something they’ve neglected to do is past regimes.

The Browns are expected to have shy of $50 million in cap space entering the 2018 season. With a number of productive quarterbacks set to hit the market this summer, the Browns should take a shot at one.

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The Browns could pay a large sum to a free agent to start the 2018 NFL season and build this franchise into a respectable organization. This allows the future potential franchise quarterbacks to learn and develop at a normal pace opposed to feeding them to the wolves and destroying their confidence.

The New England Patriots have Tom Brady who is the most reliable quarterback, arguably of all time. This didn’t stop them from drafting quarterbacks throughout the years. In fact, the Patriots have selected eight quarterbacks since Brady in 2000.

In 2017 alone, they traded Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo for a former first-round pick in Phillip Dorsett and a 2018 second-round pick, respectively.

If the Patriots can continue to swing on quarterbacks, develop them, and trade them for future assets all while having Tom Brady, the Brown should be taking those same shots on quarterbacks each season until they land one.

Names such as Kirk Cousins will pop up as his tenure with the Washington Redskins has grown sour despite his continued impressive play. Tyrod Taylor is likely on his way to a new team after his recent benching by the Buffalo Bills as well.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has revitalized his career this season and is another option for teams searching for a quarterback. His situation is among the most intriguing as 2017 has been his best year to date, though they drafted Patrick Mahomes with the No. 10 pick in 2017. So trade offers will be plentiful for teams hunting for a quarterback and Kansas City may bite for the right bait.

Others to watch out for are Teddy Bridgewater, who is back from a career-threatening injury but is now fighting Case Keenum and future free agent Sam Bradford for the starting job with the Minnesota Vikings.

Lastly, the most ironic option would be A.J. McCarron. The Browns agreed to trade for McCarron several weeks ago, but couldn’t get the paperwork into the NFL on time despite the Cincinnati Bengals successfully doing so. McCarron is a restricted free agent but could petition to become an unrestricted free agent by 2018.

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At the end of the day, the Cleveland Browns have been unsuccessful since 1999 due to the lack of a quarterback. NFL teams ride and die with their quarterback and without one – you may as well stay off the ride.