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Browns spent $100,000 on advanced study of quarterbacks

Brandon Weeden AP

As the Cleveland Browns continue to search for a quarterback who would be worth the eight-figure salary that a franchise passer commands, they’ve spent a six-figure sum on trying to identify the best way to choose a quarterback.

According to Sal Paolantonio of ESPN, the Browns commissioned a study of the quarterback position that cost $100,000 and entailed a great deal of research into which qualities go into success at the most important position in football. The study began under former team President Joe Banner and was only recently completed, after Banner left.

The study, which used advanced analytics to examine every quarterback who has played in the last two decades, concluded that the best quarterback in this year’s draft is Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.

What we don’t know is how much stock the current decision makers put in the study. If Banner thought it was useful but current General Manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine think the study is a bunch of hooey, then Browns owner Jimmy Haslam basically flushed $100,000 down the toilet. (Maybe he can make it up by withholding $100,000 worth of rebates from Pilot Flying J customers.) But if the Browns’ brass believes in the study, keep an eye on Bridgewater when the Browns’ second first-round pick comes up, at No. 26.

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78 Responses to “Browns spent $100,000 on advanced study of quarterbacks”
  1. spreadthecheese says: May 8, 2014 12:55 PM

    It doesn’t take $100k to know that if you draft a quarterback in the 1st round every other year you’ll be terrible.

  2. skoobyfl says: May 8, 2014 12:56 PM

    TB is making a comeback.

  3. pjhcfp says: May 8, 2014 12:57 PM

    ….and why are they leaking this to Sal Paolantonio right now?

  4. pem34 says: May 8, 2014 12:58 PM

    Considering he amount of money the browns threw in the trash with the likes of quinn, mccoy, weedon, couch, etc…this is probably the best QB $ they have spent in a decade.

  5. electricboogalo says: May 8, 2014 12:58 PM

    Another in a long line of solid decision making in Cleveland.

  6. Matt dog from C-town says: May 8, 2014 12:58 PM

    Jimmy don’t play….he wants to win, baby!!!!!

  7. sparty0n says: May 8, 2014 12:58 PM

    They already have their QB in Hoyer!

  8. pillowporkers says: May 8, 2014 1:00 PM

    If Bridgewater is there at 8, its a borderline miracle for the Vikings. If you would’ve told me in January that the Vikings would get Bridgewater at 8, I would’ve thought you were crazy.

  9. anygvnsunday says: May 8, 2014 1:00 PM

    With all the money Haslam’s spending paying people who aren’t on the Browns’ staff anymore, I doubt $100k is even a blip on his radar. Just looking at the personnel that’s passed through that building in the last few years compared to the staff today, he’s paying MUCH more to other teams’ coaches than he is his own.

    And I’m sure he’ll be paying Pettine’s and his band of merry men’s salaries for a while where ever they all land when this staff gets the boot in a couple of years.

    But, you know, this year is different.

  10. fissels says: May 8, 2014 1:00 PM

    I hope Bridgewater turns out to be a great NFL QB.

  11. agelardi says: May 8, 2014 1:02 PM

    Isn’t that why you have coaches, scouts & a GM?

  12. robuff716 says: May 8, 2014 1:02 PM

    Send me $100k ill tell the Browns who not to pick!!!

  13. NoobTubeTV says: May 8, 2014 1:03 PM

    Bortles or Carr at 26… Otherwise, take one of the mid-round guys like Garrapolo, etc. in the 2nd/3rd rd.

    Never Bridgewater… The dude is soft.

  14. citizenstrange says: May 8, 2014 1:04 PM

    Think of the things you can do with that money
    Choose any charity – give to the poor
    We’ve noted your motives – we’ve noted your feelings
    This isn’t blood money – it’s a fee nothing
    Fee nothing, fee nothing more

  15. qdog112 says: May 8, 2014 1:07 PM

    Bridgewater is the first QB drafted tonight.

  16. bennyb82 says: May 8, 2014 1:09 PM

    It could be worse. I just read a story that researched the best way to win paper, rock, and scissors.

  17. 3yardsndust says: May 8, 2014 1:10 PM

    “Now at the $50,000, you get the report, the charts, and powerpoint presentation. And that’s fine, if you just want the bare minimum. But at the $100,000 level, you get the whole package, plus a lifetime subscription to PFT.”

    #TheFactoryChurns

  18. ravens634 says: May 8, 2014 1:12 PM

    Well, i got some news for you, Bridgewater isnt the answer. so you wasted 100K

  19. dchetz says: May 8, 2014 1:15 PM

    I don’t need $100,000 to come up with the answer of: “Anybody but Weeden”.

  20. getyourownname says: May 8, 2014 1:16 PM

    Ask yourself why the Browns or any other team would spend that money on a report that you then disclose to a reporter.

    Hint – it’s not because you want to be sure you can pick Bridgewater.

  21. casualmalexlfan says: May 8, 2014 1:17 PM

    Can’t wait for Jerry Jones to one-up this by commissioning his own, more expensive advanced quarterback study where he is the sole researcher.

  22. clbrwns says: May 8, 2014 1:17 PM

    Excellent. Welcome to the 21st century. This is the best news I’ve heard all year! Data doesn’t lie. The NFL has been around a LONG time and the number of truly great QBs is pretty small. There are always traits deep analysis will show. Personality, mechanical etc… Bill Walsh started this a long time ago. Go Browns.. I’m just surprised Banner thought of it.

  23. poewing says: May 8, 2014 1:17 PM

    Paying allotta money to play moneyball defeats the purpose.

  24. Andre's Johnson says: May 8, 2014 1:18 PM

    Bridgewater strikes me as a pretty awesome character guy with a good deal of talent. I hope he’s there for the Texans at 33. That would be a coup.

  25. jagsfan2012 says: May 8, 2014 1:18 PM

    Sounds like money well spent. Although $100,000 is a lot for most of us, for the NFL, it’s chump change. Who knows, it may be the best investment the Browns have ever made.

  26. dmarado says: May 8, 2014 1:22 PM

    Sounds like they don’t want to screw this up. If it helps, it’s money well spent.

  27. larrydavid7000 says: May 8, 2014 1:22 PM

    Once again Clueless in Cleveland. The Mistake By The Lake.

  28. bamboozle99 says: May 8, 2014 1:22 PM

    We could go on and makes jokes about the Browns all day long. But it’s pretty clear how serious they take this study by making it public knowledge. It is a 100k$ smokescreen now and not even a good one at that.

  29. jaxbeachjagfan says: May 8, 2014 1:23 PM

    When you spend $10+ million a year on a center, what’s $100,000?

  30. joemammy says: May 8, 2014 1:26 PM

    Get all of the negative draft stuff out of the way today, boys…

    Tomorrow it won’t mean s…!

  31. jeremycrowhurst says: May 8, 2014 1:27 PM

    It’s a good sign that they’re asking these questions. Consider, for example, Tampa Bay entering the 2013 season. Freeman had thrown 25 TDs in two of his three seasons, was coming off of a 4000 yard season, but had problems with accuracy and decision-making. Obviously the guy had potential to take the next step, but they did nothing to get him on track. They draft a QB, which should have told Freeman he needed to take matters into his own hands, but he didn’t. So you have a player making $8M a year, a GM, and a coach, all do nothing to fix the problem that will keep everybody happy.

    Now the player’s career as a starter is over at 26, the GM is unemployed, the coach is unemployed, and the team is looking for a new QB a year after drafting the last guy.

    If $100,000 helps Cleveland avoid this kind of mess, it’s money very well spent.

  32. justchuckn says: May 8, 2014 1:29 PM

    6 and a half hours…….

  33. htown995 says: May 8, 2014 1:29 PM

    Teddy bustwater is not the best qb in this draft bortles, carr,manziel,and aaron murray are better than him this is why the browns always have a crappy team

  34. tvjules says: May 8, 2014 1:29 PM

    Another head fake. They’re taking Watkins, as they should.

  35. thegenoatkinsdiet says: May 8, 2014 1:30 PM

    After 20 fails at QB, what’s one more?

  36. theytukrjobs says: May 8, 2014 1:30 PM

    Not a very good investment when word gets out that the study says Bridgewater is the best. Now everyone knows the result of a study you paid 100k for.

    Not that the study necessarily means anything. But still. You paid for the cow and now everyone gets the milk for free.

  37. 4512dawg4512 says: May 8, 2014 1:31 PM

    Just like I’ve been saying, if they would have just stuck with Weeden we’d be talking about Watkins or Evans. But nope, it’s the Browns. Searching for a QB in a weak QB draft class once again.

  38. sparty0n says: May 8, 2014 1:31 PM

    If Bridgewater came out on top, perhaps the Browns now know that none of the QBs are worth an early pick

  39. guiness17 says: May 8, 2014 1:32 PM

    Leave it to the Browns to leak what should be a confidential document.

  40. 10elite says: May 8, 2014 1:36 PM

    The fact that they shared with the media the results of their $100k study right before the draft shows how much weight they are giving to the results.

  41. harryspudder says: May 8, 2014 1:38 PM

    The good news is that every other team in the league got the results of the study for free if they read this article…

  42. guachosporlife says: May 8, 2014 1:40 PM

    These guys can’t tell whether or not a guy can throw a ball to another guy accurately?

  43. tungaiku says: May 8, 2014 1:41 PM

    Yes, lets pay 100 grand for this research and release what our studies have shown to the public…GENIUS

  44. realnflmaster says: May 8, 2014 1:43 PM

    Bustwater is a bum.

  45. mogogo1 says: May 8, 2014 1:44 PM

    Who better to do this research but the team who drafts a new QB basically every year?

  46. weepingjebus says: May 8, 2014 1:47 PM

    “In conclusion, the ball should — in the air — proceed over both the offensive line and defensive line before being caught or ‘received’ by another player (reminder: said ‘receiver’ should be a player with an active roster spot on the Browns football team). Quarterbacks with the ability to do this several times in a row are more valuable than those who cannot. Please remit the attached invoice for $100,000.00 as soon as possible.”

  47. ragnarthemagnificent says: May 8, 2014 1:49 PM

    Without some stability in the organization it doesn’t matter who plays QB. I think all football fans want to see the Browns step up and have a good team. I would expect the Browns to take Bridgewater but he’s not a good fit IMO

  48. bobzilla1001 says: May 8, 2014 1:53 PM

    The fastest way to find a “great” quarterback is by first building an elite defense. That’s a formula used by the Giants, Steelers, Ravens and Seahawks. The key, however, is not to overpay the QB when it was the defense that did all the heavy lifting…

  49. Waxxx4321 says: May 8, 2014 1:54 PM

    Should of spent a Mil for a whole new team.

  50. chaney13 says: May 8, 2014 1:54 PM

    Wasn’t hooey one of Donald Duck’s nephews?

  51. ytownjoe says: May 8, 2014 1:59 PM

    Try everything and anything to try and figure which QB to take. Especially after missing on the last 20.

  52. tatatoothy says: May 8, 2014 2:03 PM

    31 other teams just saved $100,000 thanks to this article.

  53. dryzzt23 says: May 8, 2014 2:04 PM

    Tom Savage should be the pick.

    Or they can stick with Hoyer and take Braxton Miller in ’15.

  54. abqhawk says: May 8, 2014 2:09 PM

    And after that expenditure, they’ll still be the Browns!

    Nobody to throw to.
    Nobody to catch it if thrown.
    Nobody to hand the ball to who can run.
    Nobody to protect him when he throws or hands off.

  55. coachkilla6 says: May 8, 2014 2:15 PM

    They still got off cheaper than that brain trust in Minnesota. Spieldope payed Freeman $3M for 3 hours work last season.
    #SKOL

    Sad
    Keepers of
    0
    Lombardi’s

  56. Norseman says: May 8, 2014 2:25 PM

    Hope Bridgewater is the first QB off the board at #8! He deserves to be!

  57. glb15 says: May 8, 2014 2:27 PM

    Everyone keeps overlooking one factor. If Hoyer turns out to be the real deal, the QB the Browns draft will sit behind him for a minimum of at least 3-4 years. So, maybe this is why the Browns head coach, Mike Pettine, isn’t going haywire over everyone else’s Cleveland Browns QB dilemma.

  58. hotep999 says: May 8, 2014 2:27 PM

    Browns to the Super bowl! (fiber bar lunch)

  59. peddealer says: May 8, 2014 2:29 PM

    You know what would be interesting to find out?

    If they did 2 decades worth of studying, how about going back and studying previous years prospects.. (Taking their names out of the picture for obvious bias) and have the system rank previous years prospects…

    When all is said and done, look year by year at how all QB’s were projected and how well they really did…

    That would explain if the system really works as opposed to just applying it to this years class…

  60. chaseutley says: May 8, 2014 2:32 PM

    Tim Couch: 7 years at $48MM
    Brady Quinn: 5 years at 20.2MM
    Brandon Weeden: 4 years at $8.1MM

    $100,000 is just a drop in the bucket.

  61. alreidtx says: May 8, 2014 2:36 PM

    Banners ‘Poison Pill’… He knew he was on the way out. This is his last laugh.

  62. bullcharger says: May 8, 2014 2:51 PM

    100k is absolutely nothing. If they aren’t spending at least 100k on studies of the QBs then what the hell are they doing.

    They are going to spend 20 million dollars on the guy they pick! 100k is only half of one percent of that.

  63. dalcow4 says: May 8, 2014 2:53 PM

    Can you imagine giving someone $100,000 to tell you to draft Teddy Bridgewater???

    Maybe this Browns team should move somewhere and let the NFL start over again in Cleveland.

  64. marima07 says: May 8, 2014 2:54 PM

    Maybe they can hire Kevin Costner to engineer some pretty nifty draft moves. That way they don’t go for the flashy QB with character concerns, get each player they want, and come away looking like geniuses. Just like real life, right?

  65. bryce57 says: May 8, 2014 2:58 PM

    Ok so 2011 Browns traded down and picked Phil Taylor at 1st round at 21 which is decent but in the 2nd round at picks 35 and 36 respectively was Dalton and Kaepernick. Could a of should of sort of thing. So as a Browns fan would I rather have Phil Taylor or one of those QB’s?

    Now 2012 we picked #3 Trent Richardson and #22 Weedon. 3rd Round Pick #75 Russell Wilson.

    2013 Nothing notable in QB’s was missed.

    Now as a Brown’s Fan looking at this I feel $100,000 is nothing to spend IF the Browns get the QB pick right.

    I have a Question though: In this Draft is there an top tier QB like an Andrew Luck or even a one of the above?
    I don’t.

  66. thegreatgabbert says: May 8, 2014 2:58 PM

    I think the toilet flushed on that 100 grand when the ball came tumbling out of Teddy’s tiny hand at his pro day.

  67. gregmorris78 says: May 8, 2014 3:00 PM

    The only logical explanation here is that the browns (is it racist to say that?) are playing dumb…

  68. thewizardofbs says: May 8, 2014 3:24 PM

    cleveland still has a team…???

  69. audient says: May 8, 2014 3:31 PM

    Hey, I’m glad we just renewed the sin tax for another 20 years in Cuyahoga County.

    With every beer I drink, 1.5 cents goes toward that study.

  70. granadafan says: May 8, 2014 4:03 PM

    While it seems like a good idea to come up with a way to quantify the justification for picking the most important position on the field, why would you spend $100K on a study and release the results just for draft day for everyone to see?

  71. steve3211 says: May 8, 2014 4:11 PM

    The failure to draft and play the correct qb starts at the pee wee level. There is no position in sports more prone to favoritism, political machinations, nepotism and stereotyping. At almost every HS in this country the best player is not playing the qb position because they don’t get an objective shot. Daddies on the board lobbying, daddies the head coach, daddies the head coaches best friend, head coach is a poor talent evaluator, head coach wantw to play the tall kid who doesn’t have a clue about reading defense, is inaccurate and wants to play basketball really. The list is endless. This then extends to the college level. Tall kid gets attention and recruited while kid that can actually play gets disillusioned and quits game. This same scenario plays out at the college level. Its no wonder these kids end up being busts at the pro and collegiate level. So much talent is wasted at this position around the country it isn’t even funny. If the NFL was serious about the qb position there would be a grass roots level movement to identify OBJECTIVELY qb talent at the local level and make sure that talent is nurtured regardless of politics and nepotism. Every region should have a hs rep who holds tryouts, watches closely every single player at the qb position no matter his place on the depth chart, advises coaches, makes sure that no player is being missed because of stupid size discrimination and makes sure the star qb actually has a clue how to play. Anybody who thinks the camps and combines work for this position doesn’t have a clue. It may for the other positions but not for qb. Simply to much unwarranted attention is placed on a kid with “measurables” while others with real talent whither in the wind.

  72. steve3211 says: May 8, 2014 4:27 PM

    And I guarantee the best senior college qb playing at the D1 or D2 level today isn’t going in this draft and probably won’t play in the nfl. Do you really think that Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater are the best college qb’s in the country right now, that there isn’t another Tom Brady playing qb at one of the two hundred plus universities around this country. There is, probably more than one, but he won’t get his shot. Every NFL team should have a specialist qb position whose entire job is spent going to every university and watching every single qb on that squad closely and extensively. That team should then listen to that expert and not on what these useless talent evaluators like Kiper and Mcshay spuot off about. I don’t know why this subject pisses me off so much.

  73. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain says: May 8, 2014 4:33 PM

    This is why the Browns are perpetually in the toilet. Stop paying other people to tell you who to draft. Hire good scouts and let them decide. They coulda sent me $50k and I’d have (a) told them where they would get good value for the QBs in this draft and (b) explained why all their past QB picks were just wasted picks. Let’s start with Brandon Weeden and work our way back. The guy was 28 years old when he entered the draft….

  74. huskywolverine says: May 8, 2014 4:41 PM

    The Browns could have paid me $100 and I would have told them that Bridgewater was the best QB in the draft. Time to start my consulting business.

  75. lbcoach34 says: May 8, 2014 5:10 PM

    I’m sure this report is true

  76. nicknasti says: May 8, 2014 6:19 PM

    For all of the brilliant amateur analysts here, the study rates ALL the QBs in the draft and their value. They let out that Bridgewater is at the top, but that’s only a hint of the study. Where should each QB be taken? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do the fit in the Browns? How do they play in bad weather? All would be in the study, but not released to the press.

  77. norcaldeportes says: May 8, 2014 6:27 PM

    $100k doesn’t go very far in the world of consultants, data analytics, or software purchasing/leasing. So I’m guessing they hired some Louisville grad who created all sorts of cool graphs & presented it in a way that makes TB look like the 2nd coming of Bernie Kosar

  78. dodohead418 says: May 8, 2014 6:28 PM

    This almost guarantees the Browns are choosing an QB!

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