As the Browns lay the foundation for their next run at a franchise quarterback, they’ll be reminded on Sunday of one who got away.
In 2005, the Browns held the third overall pick in the draft. They expressed interest in Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers; they drafted receiver Braylon Edwards. (Two rounds later, Cleveland drafted quarterback Charlie Frye.)
“Yeah I was out at the facility actually,” Rodgers said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I remember meeting with Romeo Crennel, who was the coach at the time. I enjoyed our conversation. Trent Dilfer, who was a buddy of mine, was the quarterback there at the time. I thought it was a strong possibility being there. I enjoyed my visit there. It was my first of two visits where I actually went to the team facility.
“That was really exciting for me as a young player, to go out there and stay in the hotel and go in the facility and eat at the team dining [hall]. I thought that was really a big deal. I enjoyed it a lot. They went in a different direction. The rest is history.”
Yes it is. The Browns have continued to search in vain for a franchise quarterback, using a first-round pick seven years later on Brandon Weeden, who is actually older than Rodgers.
Eleven other quarterbacks have started for the Browns in the years since G.M. Phil Savage passed on Rodgers. If Weeden holds the job for the rest of the years, the Browns surely will hope that, come next season, starter No. 13 will be the one that finally changes Cleveland’s luck.