Every Monday Morning Peter King from MMQB puts out his very long and detailed recap of events from Sunday. Today the Cleveland Browns were mentioned a number of times, but all but one related to opponents they had this week (Chicago Bears) or past opponents (Bengals, Patriots). The one mention of the Browns was very interesting, as it was not just a guess but also seemed to have some information that contradicts general assumptions of the Browns thinking at QB:
b. I continue to think Cleveland, using the late-first-round pick acquired from Indy in the Trent Richardson deal, is a realistic spot for Cousins if he plays very well in the final three games. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner wants more of a standard dropback quarterback than a run-around guy like Johnny Manziel. If the Browns could use their first first-rounder on another need position (wideout, corner) and the pick in the 20s on Cousins, that would give Turner a chance to get a young veteran ready for opening day faster than he could with anyone Cleveland would pick in a May draft four months from opening day.
Trading for Cousins is not a new topic for Browns’ faithful. It was discussed after he torched the team last year. Would the Browns be willing to trade a mid to late 1st round pick for a quarterback? Of course they would. They have made it clear that finding a Franchise QB is their #1 priority as a team. Would the Browns be willing to trade a mid to late 1st round pick for Kirk Cousins? That is a more difficult question.
Many would say the Browns have a similar QB on their roster now, Brian Hoyer, who is recovering from an ACL tear. Hoyer and Cousins both attended Michigan State University, both have shown good accuracy and needed mobility in their limited time on the field. Yet Hoyer is under contract for another year and Cousins would cost the team a high draft pick. If the Browns’ Front Office sees distinct similarities its highly unlikely they make this move for Cousins.
The team would also have to make a decision on whether or not Cousins is worth a 1st round pick, aside from who else in on the roster. Does the team value Cousins over a solid #2 cornerback, a stud offensive lineman or a complimentary WR to pair with Josh Gordon? Could they use a similar value as the Kansas City Chiefs did when acquiring Alex Smith, 2 second round picks? Is Washington even willing to move Cousins given RG3’s health history, or will they have to be blown away?
The part of the King statement that is most interesting is his statement regarding Turner’s like for a traditional drop back passer. It has been widely assumed that the new regime favors mobile QBs in the mold of Cam Newton, RG3 and others. This assumption often came from the team’s pursuit of Chip Kelly, head coach Rob Chudzinkski’s history with Newton and a variety of statements made by the regime during the off-season. Could it be though that a player like Cousins, or Alabama’s AJ McCarron, fit more what the team wants to do? If so is McCarron, or a similar style QB, more interesting then Blake Bortles, Manziel and other more mobile types?
Prognosticating on the Browns’ quarterback position could be a full time job. Expect much to be made between now and draft time, especially since the draft has been moved back to May this year!