The notion recently floated by the Browns that they’re torn between defensive end Myles Garrett and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky overlooks one critical reality regarding the situation: If the Browns would use the first overall pick on a rookie quarterback (essentially trading the pick for a rookie quarterback), would they trade the pick for a veteran quarterback?
The Patriots, by all accounts, have decided they won’t be trading Jimmy Garoppolo at all, presumably even if the offer includes the top pick in the draft. As one league source recently explained it to PFT, coach Bill Belichick has decided that he wants Garoppolo to be the backup to Tom Brady in 2017 — and that Belichick will worry about Garoppolo becoming a free agent in 2018 when 2018 arrives.
So what about the trading the first overall pick in the draft for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins? While that may seem like a high price for a guy who has yet to firmly establish himself as a franchise quarterback, think of it another way. If Cousins were in the draft pool along with Garrett and all of the various unproven rookie quarterbacks for whom success in the NFL is a coin-flip proposition at best, wouldn’t the Browns take Cousins?
Of course, they’d get him that way at a contract that pays out less than $30 million over four years. To keep Cousins the sixth-year franchise-tagged veteran beyond 2017, the Browns would have to break the bank, with a long-term deal that pays out at least $52 million fully guaranteed over the first two years of the contract.
It would be unconventional, but this is the team that bought a second-round pick last month for $16 million. If they’ll do that to get a quarterback they don’t want, what would they pay for one they do?
Coach Hue Jackson runs an offense very similar to the one Cousins has mastered in Washington with Jay Gruden. The Cleveland interest in Cousins, rumored for weeks, is something needs to at least be considered as the draft approaches.