Former NFL quarterback says Sam Darnold should pass on Cleveland Browns

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Sam Darnold (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Sam Darnold (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Former NFL quarterback, Ryan Leaf says Sam Darnold should take a page out of the John Elway and Eli Manning playbook. Here’s why we should call “Omaha” on that notion.

Cleveland Browns fans can sleep easier. Former NFL quarterback, Ryan Leaf has given Sam Darnold career advice. Speaking on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Leaf said that Darnold should ask his agent to do whatever was necessary to keep him out of Cleveland.

"“If I were Sam Darnold… I’m going to my agent and I’m saying figure out a way for me not to go to Cleveland.” — Ryan Leaf"

Where to begin? On the surface, Leaf tries to make a logical, if not sarcastic, point. If the Browns win three games this year (or in his words, ”triple their win total”) they will fire head coach Hue Jackson and Darnold will have a new coach and likely a new offensive coordinator before ever taking his first snap.

(Brief aside Ryan, tripling zero is still zero.) But I digress …

Leaf might have a fair point if he had gone on to explain why he felt the Browns would only win three games. But as the interview went on, Leaf acknowledges that he likes the moves the Browns have made and that they may be a better team. Towards the end of the interview, his argument basically breaks down to “it’s Cleveland, you know.”

I don’t know if it bothers me more that Leaf is given a platform, or that Cowherd gave him that platform without doing anything more than simply agreeing. So to help Leaf out, I’ll offer a better argument from the pages of SI reporter, Andy Benoit.

"In the last 12 years, exactly zero first-round quarterbacks have sat as rookies and gone on to become a franchise guy.The last first-rounder to do it was Aaron Rodgers, who fell into Green Bay’s lap in 2005. Plenty of teams since have drafted guys with the plan to groom them from the bench, but that’s not how it plays out. Either the team impatiently rushes the rookie onto the field, or the rookie toils from the bench and busts. Maybe Patrick Mahomes will break the trend in Kansas City; we won’t know for a few years. — Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated"

Benoit was writing an article explaining why the Giants shouldn’t take a quarterback with the second overall pick. But, what’s good for the goose can also be applied to the Cleveland Browns. I’m not suggesting the Browns won’t, or shouldn’t take a quarterback, but at least this is an argument I can get behind.

Next: Browns Draft Profile: Sony Michel

As fans of the Browns, we know how to press the reset button. We’re also sadly used to hearing the “only in Cleveland” narrative played out in the national media. As the 2018 draft approaches, let’s all agree to separate hot takes from thoughtful commentary.