Browns don’t rule out trading for a veteran quarterback

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There’s a disconnect between the headline and the story that appears in the Cleveland Plain Dealer after Wednesday’s pre-draft press conference from executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown.

“Jimmy Garoppolo and AJ McCarron could be off table for Browns as club says it won’t trade for veteran QB,” declares the headline — usually written by someone other than the writer. Under that headline, the writer (Mary Kay Cabot) writes that, although Brown said the Browns won’t trade for a veteran quarterback on draft weekend, he didn’t rule out doing so before the draft begins.

Could we in theory? Yes,” Brown said. “But are we planning on it or is that the plan? No.”

It’s a significant opening, no matter how slim it may be. And it meshes with speculation/rumor/whatever that the Browns could explore the possibility of dangling the No. 1 or No. 12 overall pick for a proven commodity at the quarterback position.

The one name not mentioned in the headline (or the story) that continues to be the most intriguing is Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. Some league insiders insist that the Browns will try to trade for Cousins. And since using the first overall pick on a player is the equivalent of trading that pick for a player, wouldn’t the Browns trade the pick not for an unproven player but for someone like Cousins?

Whatever the Browns do, Sashi Brown has not taken off the table the possibility of putting a first-round pick on the table for a player who could potentially put his name on the back of that neverending jersey and leave it there for a while.