The Browns are looking for a quarterback. But which one(s) are they considering?
A position-by-position look at the roster from Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer includes a report, sort of, that the effort to upgrade the position won’t include an attempt to trade for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.
The possibility of a Mallett trade has been churning on the rumor mill since Mike Lombardi became the Browns new V.P. of player personnel last month. The chain of logic is fairly simple; Lombardi is tight with Pats coach Bill Belichick, if Belichick likes Mallett then Lombardi presumably likes Mallett, and Mallett likely will leave via free agency before ever becoming the starting quarterback, so the Pats should trade him at some point.
What better year to do a deal than this year, when the draft lacks the kind of high-end quarterbacks it produced in 2012?
It’s unclear why the Browns aren’t keen on Mallett. Maybe they don’t want to use draft picks on a quarterback. Or maybe coach Rob Chudzisnki isn’t enamored with Mallett’s skills. Or maybe CEO Joe Banner is troubled by the off-field issues regarding Mallett that have become forgotten since he became a member of the NFL’s platinum-standard franchise.
So what will the Browns do? Cabot mentions Brian Hoyer, another former Pats backup who was out of football until the Cardinals broke the glass late in the regular season. We’ve heard that Lombardi is a fan of Hoyer’s, who can be had without a draft pick or any other compensation.
We remain intrigued by the possibility of a run at Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, if he’s tendered as a non-exclusive franchise player. And Mike Vick is a possibility, if the Eagles let him go.
Regardless, a new owner, a new CEO, a new front-office chief, a new head coach, and a new offensive coordinator means that last year’s brand-new quarterback of the future may eventually be a thing of the past in Cleveland.