The Cleveland Browns have a had a rough offseason.
Perhaps their biggest move of the offseason was signing quarterback Josh McCown, a career backup who’s played for five teams in 13 seasons.
The Browns looked like a surprise playoff team for most of 2014 before they fell apart with a five-game losing streak to end the season.
Going into the 2015 NFL Draft, their quarterback situation is a mess.
The Browns lost last year’s starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, for nothing to the Houston Texans in free agency.
Manziel, who’s set to finish a two-month stint in rehab in early April, reportedly has little support within the Browns’ organisation. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen went on “Mike & Mike” and said the Browns are almost ready to move on from Manziel:
“I think about 90 per cent (the Browns) have moved on (from Manziel) in their own minds except that they really don’t know who they’re going to get when Johnny leaves rehab, which has been an extended stay — a two-month stay. He should be getting out in the first week of April if they’re satisfied that he’s ready to go out and get into society and whatever deep-rooted problems that he had has been addressed.”
“But the bottom line is Johnny Manziel’s future with the Browns has been in question.”
Mortensen also reported that the Browns were interested in trading for Sam Bradford, but he ultimately got dealt to the Eagles. The hold-up was that the Browns didn’t have a quarterback to send to the St. Louis Rams in return.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently said that she believes the Browns will try to trade up for Marcus Mariota in the draft and they could make another run at Bradford.
In Mortensen’s appearance on “Mike & Mike,” however, he said he doesn’t believe Bradford will be available, and if he is, he wouldn’t be interested in signing an extension with the Browns. If the latter is true, it disincentivizes the Browns from making the trade and giving up assets for a one-year rental.
Trading up for Mariota is difficult, too. While Browns currently have the 12th and 19th pick in the draft, they would have to give up significant assets to move into range for Mariota. Cabot said she believes Mariota will be drafted between No. 2 or No. 6 in the first round.
Bad drafting and constant turnover have hurt the Browns. This year’s free agent quarterback class was notably weak, but the Browns still didn’t end up with any of the top prospects. If they are close to moving on from Manziel — something owner Jimmy Haslam doesn’t indicate is true — it would be another wasted draft pick on a player who played just six quarters his rookie season.
Unless something changes, it looks like McCown will be the starter in Week 1.
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