Cleveland Browns: SI predicts Sam Bradford, Sam Darnold join team
By Randy Gurzi
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King predicts that the Cleveland Browns end up signing Sam Bradford in the 2018 NFL Offseason as well as drafting Sam Darnold
There has been speculation on top of speculation this offseason about what the Cleveland Browns need to do about their quarterback situation. Most of it has revolved around the discussion of whether or not they should draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, or sign a veteran free agent.
This offseason is unlike many others as several potential starters are about to hit the open market. Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Kirk Cousins have all been solid players and are set to be free agents.
Also about to become available is A.J. McCarron, who has shown some reason for optimism. This is without even looking at the possibility of trading for Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. Then again, with the No. 1 pick they have their choice of incoming collegiate quarterbacks as well.
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Or maybe, the Browns can just do a combination of both.
That’s what Peter King of SI’s MMQB suggested as he predicted the Browns would bring in a pair of quarterbacks named Sam. King says Sam Bradford should be signed as the starter, with them using the No. 1 overall pick on Sam Darnold, who needs time to develop.
"“The reason Browns GM John Dorsey wanted Alex Smith, or even McCarron or another veteran, is because he wants to be competitive from the start this season. You sign Bradford because you know as long as he stays healthy (Ten days? Ten games?), he’s a top-12-caliber quarterback. But he’s played more than seven games in just two of the last five seasons, and so the Browns won’t be guaranteed anything except some sleepless nights if they sign Bradford. But no matter which veteran Cleveland gets (and McCarron is certainly a strong prospect here), Dorsey will backstop with a rookie, and Darnold, who needs a large dose of development, would be fine with a year or more of clipboard-holding.” — King"
In today’s NFL, drafting a quarterback No. 1 who needs time to develop seems foolish. With limited practice reps to go around, that player is doing little besides watching. They need the reps and if a guy can’t contribute, he shouldn’t be the top pick.
This isn’t to say Cleveland shouldn’t cover themselves by getting both a veteran and a rookie, but they need a rookie that can compete. Not one that’s reliant on a guy like Bradford to not get hurt.
Which brings up another discussion. With his knack for winding up on IR, would “Sammy Sleeves” really be a wise pick up this offseason? Clearly the answer to that should be no.
Cleveland would be better off signing someone like McCarron to a mid-level salary and drafting a quarterback like Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen who can compete to play now. Continually trading picks and drafting guys who “need time” is essentially kicking the can down the road hoping to be better some day.
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Why not make some day now and draft people ready to play, and sign people who actually suit up to play on Sunday.