Alex Smith can be the answer at quarterback for the Browns
The Cleveland Browns continue to search for a quarterback as they enter 2018. However, this time, an opportunity to make a move for a veteran quarterback may have actually fell in their laps.
The Cleveland Browns have completed the infamous 0-16 season for just the second time in NFL history. It’s clear as day the team needs to find a competent quarterback to develop their young talent.
With rumors that the Kansas City Chiefs are open to trading Alex Smith, he quickly becomes an intriguing option for Cleveland as a potential fit for their starting quarterback position in 2018.
Sashi Brown may have been fired by the Cleveland Browns just one month ago, but he left the Browns with a plethora of draft picks and cap space. The team owns the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and also six picks in the first three rounds. The Browns are also expected to have among the most cap-room in the NFL with $111 million to work with.
Enter general manager John Dorsey. The former Chiefs general is widely regarded as an expert talent evaluator and should turn this draft capital into a successful football team via the draft – and that is why owner Jimmy Haslam brought him to Cleveland.
Objective No. 1 is easily identifiable.
Get your starting quarterback for 2018. And believe it or not, the Browns actually have a solid chance to acquire veteran Alex Smith – whom Dorsey brought to the Chiefs back in 2013 via a trade.
The rumors of the Kansas City Chiefs likely parting ways with Smith are not necessarily new. After all, the Chiefs traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes – the presumed future starter in Kansas City.
After collapsing against a mediocre Tennessee Titans team and having a quarterback in Mahomes on the bench – trading Smith makes sense. The veteran has one year left on his current contract and is slated to make $20.6 million in 2018. If the Chiefs are confident in Mahomes’ ability to lead their team to a playoff victory in 2018 there is no reason not to trade Smith. Not only do you begin your new franchise quarterbacks journey, but you also shed near $20 million in Smith’s salary.
The Chiefs, despite having one of the most efficient offenses in football, could not bag a postseason victory in Smith’s time. As good as he is Smith couldn’t get the job done when it mattered most.
Luckily, expectations are drastically lower in Cleveland. Simply winning one game would be an improvement from 2017.
The Browns used a second rounder on their 2017 starting quarterback, DeShone Kizer, and are likely to draft another with one of their top picks in 2018 as well – regardless of whether Smith is on the roster or not.
Kizer struggled throughout his rookie season. At only 21 years old, starting him alongside the youngest roster in the NFL perhaps wasn’t among one of head coach Hue Jackson’s brightest ideas. Nonetheless, the expectations failed and Cleveland found themselves in the pit of misery after an 0-16 season.
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Kizer is still young and actually did show some flashes of his potential throughout the season. However, there is no way the Browns can confidently bank on him entering next season.
However, the narrative that Kizer should be let go is absolutely ludicrous. He is a young player that left college prematurely and lacks the experience to control an NFL game. He needs to learn from the sidelines before making an impact and eventually he could surprise some of his doubters.
Point being, enough is enough. The Browns have the worst quarterback room in the NFL and have for far too long. Potentially having three starting quarterbacks on the roster (Kizer, Smith, rookie) should not be viewed as pointless, but rather the point.
Kizer will be on the Browns in 2018 as well as a rookie quarterback they draft in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Whether that is UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or USC’s Sam Darnold doesn’t matter – whoever it is they should not start.
A rookie quarterback and Kizer learning behind a veteran like Smith could prove wonders for the Browns.
Let’s not forget about Smith’s past. A No. 1 pick who quickly fell behind the shadow of Aaron Rodgers (drafted 23 picks later), Smith . But prevailed after facing the harsh criticism of not living up to the hype of a top overall pick.
His wisdom, experience, football IQ and ability to serve as a bridge quarterback for the Browns makes trading for Smith a difficult scenario to pass on. The Chiefs have their franchise quarterback on the bench and lack draft picks. For once, something is working in the Browns favor and a team could use their assets.
Next: Exploring the Case Keenum option at QB
The Browns have the draft picks and cap room to spend. In “year three” of Jimmy Haslam’s rebuild the team must start winning. Drafting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, trading for Smith and acquiring plugs for the other holes via the draft and/or free agency seemingly is the wisest and safest bet for the Browns to become relevant once again.