Browns coach knows this is the year he has to find his quarterback

Getty Images

The Browns have a ridiculous amount of both cap space (over $100 million) and draft picks (11 including five of the first 65), but they know that nothing will define their efforts to escape decades of Browns-ness like their search for a quarterback.

And coach Hue Jackson said the goal is to find the long-term answer at the position this offseason.

We hope to,” Jackson told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. “We go into it looking to solve that. We all know until we have our quarterback, the guy that we want on our team [long-term], it’s hard to move forward. Now, that said, we’re not sure that guy is not on our team yet, I’m not trying to discount the guys that are on the team. You’re just always looking to improve everywhere that you can. We’re going to search high and low.”

We can save Jackson a little time because we like to help people. He isn’t on your roster now, Hue.

Now that that’s settled and we can move on, Jackson was able to talk about the time spent on possible free agents and trade acquisitions as well as the draft class.

“Every quarterback who has potential to be a free agent or someone that could be traded, I’ve watched everything they’ve done,” Jackson said.

He can’t say their names because that would be tampering and tampering is illegal, but one can safely assume he’s referring to Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron, Mike Glennon, Tyrod Taylor, and others. Then there are the college kids: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitchell Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes.

Whoever it happens to be, Jackson knows that with an unprecedented amount of offseason ammunition, he has to hit the target.

“It’s very exciting. But it’s pressure-packed too,” Jackson said. “You gotta get it right, because these are opportunities to take this organization in a whole new direction. So the thought of doing it the right way, doing it right all together, it’s on all of our minds. We want to get this right. We know this could catapult us into the future, and we have a lot of different ways to have success.”

The show Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett put on yesterday should make the first pick academic, assuming the analytic Browns don’t overthink things. But how they maneuver the rest of their picks and cash to find a quarterback will be essential to their potential recovery, and they know this is the time.

63 responses to “Browns coach knows this is the year he has to find his quarterback

  1. Two of the best young QBs in the NFL were not first round picks. Derek Carr (2nd round) and Dak Prescott (4th round) both had great college careers, but somehow managed to slip through the cracks a little. There is just as good a chance of some other QB ending up being the best from this class, as the four that keep getting mentioned by everyone. The Browns seem to have a different approach than most teams. Maybe that will pay off with a late round QB find.

  2. Now wait a minute. Last year Jackson told Browns fans in no uncertain terms to “trust him” when they took Kessler in the 3rd Round. So is he now admitting fans shouldn’t trust him? or maybe last year was a year to draft for depth to play behind the guys they take this year (Nassib behind Garrett, Kessler behind ‘x’). The front office let Mack, Schwartz, Gabriel etc go, had both coordinators turn over so far this offseason, and now they are ‘drafting over’ as if last year didn’t happen. Of course, the front office and Haslam can get away with this because Browns fans have no clue about football.

  3. No, its not. Its the year he has to fix his Oline. They gave up 138 QB hits and 68 sacks last year. Any QB they get will be injured by a few games into the season unless they fix the Oline.

  4. .
    The Browns have 100 million in cap space plus 11 draft picks. That includes 5 of the top 65 in a draft year with depth extending well into the 4th and 5th rounds. Their situation is utterly hopeless.
    .

  5. I’m now convinced that Garoppolo should not be his list for this year. The Patriots aren’t going to let him go for three reasons. (1) it will cost them less than $1 million for 2017; Brissett isn’t ready if Brady gets hurt (Buffalo game); (3) there is no need to make a decision to lose a player you really like until you have to. Glennon had a shot as a rookie and Tampa moved on to Winston. Maybe it makes sense for Cleveland to use its first two picks in the first round to take the best players available and then draft a quarterback with the 33rd pick in the draft. One or more of those guys will still be there.

  6. mapedog1 to be fair to Jackson, it is somewhat broadly speculated and all but confirmed that Jackson took the fall for Ken Kovach – one of the Browns “analytics gurus” – regarding the Kessler pick. Kessler was never a clear fit for the offense that Jackson has run historically, and most reporters have indicated that sources inside the Browns say it was Kovach who made the call on Kessler. Kessler was a classic example of a scenario in which analytics fail to consider less quantifiable circumstances (Kessler’s accuracy was mostly a product of his clean pocket and short range passing game. He also typically threw the ball away when nobody was open, which improves his adjusted completion percentage, and gives him less of a chance to screw it up.) With the way Jackson shut Kessler down during the season, it’s not hard to believe that Jackson was never enthused by the pick. If Jackson should be held accountable for anything at the QB position in 2016, its thinking he could fix RG3 and/or keep him healthy, not drafting Kessler. Let’s hope he’s learned his lesson on that one – history says he hasn’t… because it’s the Browns.

  7. Come on Hue don’t waste the #1 pick on a QB, either take Garrett or trade down none of the QB’s are worth that pick. Trade out of the #12 slot and pick up another 2nd and ship that to the Bungles for AJ, please leave Jimmy G alone. Use that 100 million on some o-line help and build a stout D. Thanks Ray “can’t spot talent” Farmer!

  8. And this is why they’ll fail.
    Even a marginal QB can have success if the rest of your team is good (it IS a team sport, after all). Problem is, the Browns are so fixated on the QB position that the rest of the team is addressed as an afterthought.

  9. So the rumor is they want T. Taylor from Buffalo.
    Probably wouldn’t be a bad choice, take Garrett number one, then draft one of the other QB’s at 12.
    Then use the rest of the picks to fill numerous holes.
    I would drain the 100K on free agents. Why save the money? It’s time for Cleveland to rejoin the NFL.

  10. mapedog1 says:
    Mar 6, 2017 7:25 AM
    Now wait a minute. Last year Jackson told Browns fans in no uncertain terms to “trust him” when they took Kessler in the 3rd Round. So is he now admitting fans shouldn’t trust him? or maybe last year was a year to draft for depth to play behind the guys they take this year (Nassib behind Garrett, Kessler behind ‘x’). The front office let Mack, Schwartz, Gabriel etc go, had both coordinators turn over so far this offseason, and now they are ‘drafting over’ as if last year didn’t happen. Of course, the front office and Haslam can get away with this because Browns fans have no clue about football.
    *************************************************
    Please explain how Browns fans let the FO and Haslam “get away with this?” Stupidest comment ever

  11. people keep saying Garrett. How about getting Fournette and Ross to got with Coleman Crowell and Pryor. Get a QB like Taylor Maingold and Okung are available in as well. That would be an overnight competitive team.

  12. This is not the year you HAVE to find a QB. If there isn’t a guy you believe in, don’t pick one. Next year’s class is considered to be much better, so unless you think someone this year, with a year under his belt, will be as good as a guy next year, wait. Fill the other holes and see if RGIII can resurrect himself or if Kessler can find the open guy and actually get the ball to him.
    Do NOT over reach. Give yourself and the team the best chance to win, even if it takes another year.

  13. well, I wonder if RG3 gets his roster bonus this Friday…cap hit of 8.75…if he does, if cut, dead money hit of 1.75 mill…Saturday morning will tell us a lot…

  14. The Browns are in position to offer the 12th pick of the upcoming draft and next years 1st round pick to the Redskins for Kirk Cousins. They could snake him out from under the 49ers if their GM is any good right now. You have to sell Kirk on agreeing to sign a long term contract to make it worth doing. I believe the Bears, Jets and ultimately even the Rams could get involved with trying to obtain Cousins by draft day. An early attempt (Now) for any of these teams could net them their long term QB if the Skins do not sign him long term themselves. If the Browns wait, it could cost them an additional 2nd round pick after other teams get involved.

  15. If Garoppolo were coming out in the draft this year he would be the #1 pick. Browns can still have him if they’re willing to pay. Otherwise, it’s more futility. Maybe that’s what they like though…

  16. Browns qb needs should fall behind their needs at LT, LG, C, RG, & RT. That said, they’ll draft a qb, get him killed by week 6 and remain in the basement of the league. Like someone else above said, it’s a team game and you need all those pieces to win

  17. No one on that list is a future franchise QB. And putting a Big 12 QB on that list is just disgraceful. The best NFL QBs that came from Big 12 are Vince Run Young and Ryan Former WR Tannehill. That’s pathetic.

  18. No way.
    They should be targeting T. Taylor in free agency. The browns have loads of money..
    They should draft weapons and a better off line

  19. captainwhodat says:
    Mar 6, 2017 9:04 AM
    well, I wonder if RG3 gets his roster bonus this Friday…cap hit of 8.75…if he does, if cut, dead money hit of 1.75 mill…Saturday morning will tell us a lot…

    ———————–
    I don’t know where you got you numbers from but your way of. His bonus is 750,000 which is nothing to an NFL team

  20. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but these people sound like a broken record . How many young Quarterbacks can one team ruin ?

  21. Think the best play is Tyrod at QB…don’t waste/stretch for QB picks…too many positions where they have to upgrade talent. You know what you are getting w/ TT. Build accordingly. They play their cards right they could win 6-7 this year.

  22. harrisonhits2 says:
    Mar 6, 2017 7:32 AM
    No, its not. Its the year he has to fix his Oline
    ___________________

    There is no reason they can’t do both. There is ample FA O-line talent available, the Browns certainly have ample cap space and that’s with Joe Thomas already filling the most expensive line position. One thing FA activity over the last few seasons has shown us is the quick fixes are there for either line or in the secondary if you have the cash. I know it sounds like crazy talk but if you look at it objectively with most of the rest of their division trending down the Browns could get well in a hurry if they can get someone who’s ready to play under center. Wouldn’t be surprised if they trade for or sign a QB rather than draft one that isn’t ready for prime time. That combination of available cap space and draft capital doesn’t happen often. The only thing keeping what will happen there from being one of the bigger and more fascinating stories of the off season is it’s the Browns and we are conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to expect them to fail.

  23. I don’t know where you got you numbers from but your way of. His bonus is 750,000 which is nothing to an NFL team…sorry, that’s a roster bonus, not his salary. Salary for 2017 6 mil, 750,000 k roster bonus, +pro rated bonus at signing=8.75 cap hit…glad to help with your comprehension…

  24. harrisonhits2 says:
    Mar 6, 2017 7:32 AM
    No, its not. Its the year he has to fix his Oline. They gave up 138 QB hits and 68 sacks last year. Any QB they get will be injured by a few games into the season unless they fix the Oline.
    ___________________________________________

    It definitely needs improved but any true franchise QB would have succeeded behind every line we’ve had in the last 9 or so seasons.

  25. Jimmy G is the only QB available that would fit the long-term description. If not Jimmy G. then best to wait for next year’s draft because Cleveland should still be picking very high.

  26. You don’t go from a 1 win team to the playoffs overnight. They should trade the #1 pick and stock pile more picks in this and next year’s draft – get themselves 6-7 good players that they can build around.

    Trying to hit the home run on 1 pick usually doesn’t work. I mean, hell they’ve been picking in the top 5 the last few years haven’t they – what do they have to show for it?

  27. redclaw1314 says:
    Mar 6, 2017 10:36 AM
    Jimmy G is the only QB available that would fit the long-term description. If not Jimmy G. then best to wait for next year’s draft because Cleveland should still be picking very high.
    __________________

    Glennon or McCarron, although that would have to be a 3 way deal since Cincy won’t trade him to the Browns, would check many of the same boxes as Garoppolo. Wouldn’t discount Taylor or Cousins either. Cousins may have made noise about SF or bust but money talks and the Browns have a truckload of it. Can’t see Romo or Cutler though, teh Browns will be looking for a guy closer to the beginning than the end.

  28. They should sign Chase Daniels or Nick Foles and use their draft picks on O-linemen. Then draft a QB in the 3rd or 4th rd.

  29. There is absolutely no way to pass on Myles Garrett at #1. Then they should package something up for a solid veteran. The rookie route is just too hit or miss with QBs and the draft.

  30. Bad year to be drafting your franchise QB. Build your defense and OL. Get a QB that can play and wont lose games for you. Manage the game. Until they fix the OL , it doesn’t matter who plays QB. Good defense , good OL , good running game and a average QB that can manage a game will win games.

  31. Give BB this year’s #2 and the #2 in 2018 for Garoppolo. Draft Garrett #1 and you still have 3 picks remaining in the top 65. Sign Mangold to center this year. You now have a decent O-line with the return of Bitonio. And you still have 5 picks left.

  32. Even if they do find one, which many doubt, the poor dude will be running for his life all season long. Results of fire sale after each head coach change, which occurs every three years.

  33. LAST YEAR was the year he had to find one, and there was one sitting right in his lap. One who was perfectly built to play in the AFC North. Instead, he went out of his way to slander that quarterback, passed on him, and instead gave a multi year deal with guaranteed money to the most useless washed up fragile QB he could have possibly acquired, then stood around all offsseason looking stunned that things were going so horribly.

    But instead of drafting the big strong intelligent humble hard working kid, they go out and sign the narrow framed fragile naive man-child wash up that NOBODY else wanted, then sit around a year later like “man, we really need a quarterback here!”

    Yeah, could have told you that last season. Hue is so overrated. I have no clue why people think he’s some sort of “mastermind”. WAY over his head as a HC.

    But hey, try another flea flicker from your own end zone, or ask your punter and long snapper to line up as tackles and block for a direct snap. Brilliant decisions being made over there, gonna turn that laughing stock around in to time with ideas like these, right?

    Poor Cleveland. At least they got LeBron.

  34. As a Browns fan, I don’t want Taylor, Cousins, or Glennon at QB and over-drafting one of those college kids would be a mistake. Taylor has a ceiling and is only a bridge QB. Cousins fails in the clutch and is a product of Gruden’s system. Glennon is also a bridge QB.

    The only real play is to trade for Garappolo. They’d have to pay a lot, but he’s learned under the best coach and QB, maybe ever. He has the physical tools and is a smart kid. Maybe there isn’t enough book on him, but he has probably more upside potential than any other QB option this off-season.

    I say you push Belichick and push and push to see how much you have to give up. It’s the #12 and at least a conditional 2nd in 2018 and maybe a bit more. Is that really too much to pay for a guy who likely would be the top college QB prospect (and maybe #1 overall) if he entered the draft this year?

  35. captainwhodat says:
    Mar 6, 2017 10:23 AM
    I don’t know where you got you numbers from but your way of. His bonus is 750,000 which is nothing to an NFL team…sorry, that’s a roster bonus, not his salary. Salary for 2017 6 mil, 750,000 k roster bonus, +pro rated bonus at signing=8.75 cap hit…glad to help with your comprehension…

    Theyre only responsible for his bonus this friday and could STILL cut him after paying the bonus. If they did they would only lose $750000 like I said. Hope this helps with your obvious lack of comprehension

  36. thrillhouse1 That’s a nice explanation about Jackson and Kovach, though I am simply pointing out the fact about what Jackson said, which appears to be a lie, whatever his motivation for saying what he said. Your point exemplifies my point about not being able to trust Jackson or the front office.

  37. I really, really, enjoy how everyone glosses over Cody Kessler as if any of these rookies are guaranteed to play even half as well as he did last year. And yes, I know he was played like a rookie. Because he’s, you know, a rookie. And one playing behind a poor offensive line (due to injuries as much as anything else).

    Why is the year he has to find a QB? Because he has money and picks? Good for Hugh, that’s great, but just because the situation’s good for him to pick or hire who he wants doesn’t mean that the product is out there.

    There aren’t any home runs this year, why force him into a situation at QB when he has so many resources to devote to help with the Browns’ MULTITUDE of other issues? Kessler didn’t play badly last year for what he had-use this year to fix your other issues. If Kessler really has what it takes, you’ll have your answer. More importantly, if he does not, you’ll have a better team for your actual franchise quarterback to inherit. Right now there aren’t any QBs worth comitting to for that long and the ones that might be good don’t have a team to work with. You build the foundation before the house, typically.

Leave a Reply