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Banner calls speculation regarding quarterback pursuit “well founded”

Richardson AP

Conventional wisdom regarding the Browns’ decision to trade running back Trent Richardson for Indy’s first-round draft pick suggests that Cleveland plans to use those picks if necessary to trade up for a franchise quarterback.

For a change, conventional wisdom may be completely accurate.

Browns CEO Joe Banner acknowledged during Thursday’s PFT Live the legitimacy of the dot-connecting that would lead to the Browns drafting a quarterback early in May.

“We understand the speculation,” Banner said. “It’s obviously well founded in terms of what drives success in the NFL and you saw what [coach Rob Chudzinski] did in Carolina, New Orleans, and San Diego and myself in Philadelphia. Going any further and confirming the speculation, that could affect how we draft and at least someone certainly you would like to have out there, but that’s an important thing for us to solve. But this team has a number of needs right now.  This will put us in position to either acquire a few really good players or acquire a number of players with a lot of potential. We’ll have to make a decision on what makes the most sense when we get there.”

What makes the most sense in the interim could be even more trades.  During a separate appearance on PFT Live, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland suggested that other players acquired before Jimmy Haslam bought the team could be available, including receiver Josh Gordon, receiver Greg Little, and left tackle Joe Thomas.

Thomas acknowledged that to Mike Silver of NFL Network, saying that everyone is currently on the trading block.

That’s obvious import of trading one of the team’s best players.  If that guy is expendable, anyone is.

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35 Responses to “Banner calls speculation regarding quarterback pursuit “well founded””
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 19, 2013 10:45 PM

    And that’s the problem, they will figure it out when they get there. That’s too late to figure out how to set up successive steps to lead up to that moment and thereafter. This is the lack of vision that the team has been struggling with. They need to take a different approach than they have in the past. Having these extra picks fortunately at least gives them the opportunity to right the ship.

    But they need to make decisions with a more preemptive attitude if they want to set up the best possible paths for the use of those picks, when they get there.

  2. wearethesteelers says: Sep 19, 2013 10:48 PM

    LOL — Cleveland…

  3. seanpbeck says: Sep 19, 2013 10:49 PM

    Trading Joe Thomas would be asinine. He has more than a few good years left.

  4. bennyb82 says: Sep 19, 2013 10:55 PM

    Weeden has had a bad start to this season but it seems a little early to give up on him. I never thought he was going to be a franchise qb when he was drafted, but he has improved.

  5. nananatman says: Sep 19, 2013 10:59 PM

    Why did they go all the way through Mini-camp, OTA and preseason to blow up the team after two games? That makes no sense at all.

  6. footballchic777 says: Sep 19, 2013 11:16 PM

    So they will have a QB with NO surrounding team! No one to pass to, no one to hand off to, no protection! Dang, that QB is going to be one happy camper! With it likely that JAX will be the only team in front of you anyways…..How far up can you trade? They will need a QB too, so they are not giving you that pick! once again, Cleveland just proves what idiots they are! I feel sorry for their fans!

  7. atleastimnotaraidersfan says: Sep 19, 2013 11:21 PM

    Trading away a cornerstone LT is a pretty bad decision IMO. But I’m sure that’s just one of about a million reasons I’m not an nfl gm.

  8. salsendardo says: Sep 19, 2013 11:42 PM

    RBs are replaceable. Perennial all pro LT are not.

  9. jsally430 says: Sep 19, 2013 11:49 PM

    the browns draft picks while having two first rounders joe thomas and brady quinn brandon weeden and t-rich. can you miss any more? also trading that pick to the falcons instead of drafting julio jones for them selves…..

  10. fedupincleveland says: Sep 19, 2013 11:51 PM

    Trent Richardson is no Joe Thomas. A running back averaging 3.5 yards a carry vs a 6 time pro-bowler, 3 time first team All Pro Left Tackle.

    In my opinion, TRich is only an average RB in the NFL.

  11. bensstinkyfingers says: Sep 19, 2013 11:53 PM

    Banner looks like a Constipated Weasel, how can he be trusted? They trade Joe Thomas, the stadium and Berea will more than likely burn to the ground.

  12. rodh32340 says: Sep 20, 2013 12:05 AM

    This owner is cutting payroll, Cleveland has been here before, and ownership/management lacks loyalty to this roster. Expect more slashing with promises of better players but the main focus is on the profit margins.

  13. mrfrostyj says: Sep 20, 2013 12:16 AM

    Do you know how many first round picks you could get for Joe Thomas? I’m pretty sure the Browns could get the entire Jacksonville Jaguars team for him and they’d still have to give up draft picks. With that being said I think he’s pretty safe. Little and Gordon on the other hand I’m pretty sure are still there because no one wants their off the field issues.

  14. waitstop says: Sep 20, 2013 12:28 AM

    Maybe it’s exactly the vision this team has need. “elite” RBs no longer have value in today’s NFL. can the convert that pick into a decade long starter at guard or DT? While, also signing a FA that can equal the former players production? The current GM and coach didn’t pick him, the current owner didn’t pay him, this is a new twist in the NFL process, commodities trading. I say it was a win for both teams.

  15. tralfaz1127 says: Sep 20, 2013 12:32 AM

    They had extra picks during the Richardson draft, and wasted them to panic to go up to 3, and to draft a defensive guy late in the first round that would have still been there.
    The Factory of Sadness is now set in stone to continue un abated for years. The Bengals are young, and all there core players are signed for years.
    The Ravens, even though taking a step back are not in a bad cap space, and always draft well.
    The Stillers are the only team in trouble, up against the cap, old at a lot of positions, but even with that, they aren’t the train wreck that is the Clowns.
    Their owner eventually may face charges to make him sell his ownership, and Lombardi was a joke when he was here before, and nothing he has done recently shows any change.
    If this team wins a Super Bowl in my lifetime, it will only happen if I die this year.

  16. trademarkelane says: Sep 20, 2013 12:57 AM

    Actually, thank you Banner, now I don’t have to feel guilty enjoying my sundays!

  17. bartpkelly says: Sep 20, 2013 1:15 AM

    I get the feeling that in 3 years, when the team is unsuccessful because they are too young from all their draft choices and trading of current players, that a new coach and/or GM will come in and reset the whole thing again.

  18. cliffordc05 says: Sep 20, 2013 1:30 AM

    The problem in Cleveland is that it seems as though the current administration is more intent on proving the the previous management team was inept as they are on improving the team. The acquisition of a top tier quarterback can happen in a number of ways (just look at San Francisco and Seattle).

    Forcing a move to the top of the 2014 draft may not be the best move for this franchise if they think a qb will answer their problems. An offensive line that cannot block for Trent Richardson and Weeden will not be able to block for Bridgewater, Hundley or any other hotshot rookie.

  19. sportfan23 says: Sep 20, 2013 2:18 AM

    A team that’s close could give up a whole draft class of picks Ditka and the Saints style for Haden, Thomas and D’Qwell. Worth it….three proven studs.

  20. asublimeday says: Sep 20, 2013 2:33 AM

    Seems Gordon, Richardson, and next years QB were a solid 1-2-3 for the future. Just stupid.

  21. dcapettini says: Sep 20, 2013 4:23 AM

    Anyone would take Joe Thomas in a heartbeat, but who would want Greg “Hamhands” Little? Wide receivers still have to catch the ball, a skill for which Little has shown no talent. This guy makes Braylon Edwards look like Steve Largent.

  22. rasalghoul says: Sep 20, 2013 4:43 AM

    Dibs on Thomas. The rest you can keep.

  23. ronmexicothecoachkiller says: Sep 20, 2013 4:47 AM

    If I was a Browns Fan, I would be concerned. Joe Banner is not a personnel guy. he is a numbers guy. His thing was working the Cap in his only other job in Philly.

    “It’s obviously well founded in terms of what drives success in the NFL and you saw what [coach Rob Chudzinski] did in Carolina, New Orleans, and San Diego and myself in Philadelphia”

  24. donth8thehorns says: Sep 20, 2013 5:20 AM

    I don’t understand trading all of your best talent… Moving 1 or 2 players maybe, but Thomas? You can draft 30 lineman and maybe 2 will be staples to your line! This could go well or set them back further, interesting for sure

  25. iluvbears says: Sep 20, 2013 5:24 AM

    Poor Browns fans. If I were them, I would quit going to games this season & if I were a season ticket holder, I would demand my money back and sue them if they didn’t hand it over.

  26. macbull says: Sep 20, 2013 5:27 AM

    Quote: Banner said. “It’s obviously well founded in terms of what drives success in the NFL and you saw what [coach Rob Chudzinski] did in Carolina, New Orleans, and San Diego and myself in Philadelphia.
    ……………………………………………………..

    OMG…did you notice how Banner patted himself on the back for the success in Philly?

    Truth is, Joe Banner has never been charge of the football side of any football franchise, anywhere.

    Joe Banner was bean counter in Philly and damn good at that…but never in charge of the football side of the Eagles.

    Andy Reid was the man in charge of the football side of the Eagles during the last 10 yrs he was there. Tom Heckert was the Philly GM, not Joe Banner…

    Joe was the bean counter and the “wanna be” man in charge in Philly as he had a long running power struggle with Andy Reid which ended when Banner was relieved of his duties in early 2012…basically fired…when Reid had enough of Banner’s meddling and went Eagles owner, Jeff Lurie and told him either Banner goes or Reid is walking.

    BTW, anyone see the standing ovation Andy Reid got from the Philly fans last night as he returned for the first time since Jeff Lurie fired him after the 2012 season.

    …anyone think Joe Banner would get an ovation of any kind, from the Philly fans if he returned to Philly?

    I believe the Philly fans realize, the problem in Philly was not Andy Reid…it was Joe Banner, the “wanna be” football guru.

    Just how lucky could Browns fans be?…Joe Banner is still a “wanna be” football guru and he is screwing up another franchise, OUR BROWNS… claiming he knows how to build a football team…threaten to fire all the players.

    Joe Banner can’t stand the thought of someone else getting credit if the Browns win this year with the players drafted by Holmgren and Heckert…so he is blowing the team up during the season.

    All this BS that Haslam and Banner fed the Cleveland fans about wanting to win this year…about building a winner this year…

    …teams that want to win don’t trade their best players just two games into the season.

    Yea…look what Joe Banner did in Philly…lol…

    …now he is trying to screw up any chance that the Browns will become winners this season…how could Browns fans be so lucky?

  27. gammynomnom says: Sep 20, 2013 5:35 AM

    What did they do with all those picks they got for Julio?

    And trading Joe Thomas so your shiny new QB can get demolished? That’s just vision right there.

  28. natigator says: Sep 20, 2013 7:17 AM

    I don’t understand this mentality at all. What’s the point of drafting a franchise QB to give him the reins of an expansion team?

    They have precious few pieces as it is. You don’t find Joe Thomas quality left tackles outside of the top 10 of the draft. What would be the point in letting him go to turn around and burn a top 10 pick hoping to get another one of him? same with a Joe Haden. A young QB could use some WRs so why dispose of who you have?

  29. clownsfan says: Sep 20, 2013 7:38 AM

    Joe Thomas is not going anywhere. But ANYBODY drafted by Heckert is good as gone or won’t be re-signed(Joe Haden). I’m cool with the moves they’ve made. Joe is determined to turn this franchise around and has a concrete plan on how to do it in place. Unlike Holmgrens’ plan of just throwing sh!t against the wall and hoping it sticks. I will say I’d rather see them trade for an active QB ie Cam Newton, than draft a rookie and have to go through the rookie growing pains. It will all play out.

  30. kwjsb says: Sep 20, 2013 7:39 AM

    Its a failed plan unless you’re tanking the season.
    The Jags, Jets and raiders should be picking before you an d all 3 need the franchise QB. You could have 10 #1’s and it won’t make a difference.
    You can offer a man $200 for his cheeseburger but if he is starving he won’t sell.
    Considering the damage your doing to the best fanbase in the world, your losses in this area will hurt more than the losses on the feild. After all your not building on your base, your starting all over. Another 5 year plan Mr. Savage? Mr.Davis?Mr. Holgrem? Mr. Banner? Funny thing is these guys never make it 5 years.

  31. 84sgl says: Sep 20, 2013 7:55 AM

    What’s getting lost in this debate is the fact that though Trent only averaged 3.5 ypc, he did that going against 3 top 5 rushing defenses in Pitt, Balt, and Cincy twice a year.. Sure Ray Rice did better but Ray is in his prime and who knows where Trent’s ceiling is. I’m a humbled steelers fan but damnnnn I feel bad for my rival Cleveland fans. Awful trade.

  32. cmstrick says: Sep 20, 2013 8:15 AM

    Trading good players for draft picks is the ultimate “grass is greener over there” mistake.

    Having said that, Ted Thompson, take advantage. If Joe Thomas really is available… Holy cow. He and Josh Sitton could keep Rodgers’s uniform clean for years..

  33. kosarkid says: Sep 20, 2013 9:01 AM

    If they traded Joe Thomas I think there would be a riot in Cleveland. Unless we traded him to Jacksonville for all their 1st thru 4th round picks in the next two years drafts.

  34. bigdogsolec says: Sep 20, 2013 10:33 AM

    if you want a franchise QB, just lose all your games,get the first pick of the draft”an take him “.don’t trade all your best players to get him,when “if”you get that QB HE WILL HAVE NOBODY AROUND HIM

  35. gary2525 says: Sep 20, 2013 3:39 PM

    He is cutting payroll to pay back the trucking companies. The way that jacka– banner is I would not be shocked if they trade Joe Thomas away.

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