Armed with the No. 1 overall pick and a ludicrous amount of cap room, could the Browns sign/trade for a big-name veteran quarterback and draft a top prospect? Head coach Hue Jackson won’t rule it out.
“I think all of those things are on the table,” Jackson said (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). “I think you discuss all of those things and you work through all of those things as you go through this.”
It seems likely Browns will take a quarterback with the top pick in the draft, but it’s hard to imagine them also signing someone like Kirk Cousins and creating an expensive logjam under center. What the Browns realistically could do, however, is acquire a bridge quarterback who could start in 2018, giving their No. 1 pick a year to sit on the bench and learn.
While you consider all of the possibilities in Cleveland, here’s more from the AFC North:
- Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell confirmed that the Steelers have set an artificial deadline of Feb. 20 – the first day of franchise tagging – to get a long-term deal done (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). Bell says that both sides seem determined to get something done between now and then. “That is definitely the goal,” he said. Of course, the real deadline for franchise tagged players to sign extensions doesn’t come until the summer, so Bell could give himself additional leverage by ignoring the Steelers’ artificial deadline if he does not get an offer to his liking.
- There are some concerns about the character of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, but Browns GM John Dorsey doesn’t seem fazed by that talk as others. “Every young man will make a mistake in his life, I bet you,” he said (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). “And I think he’s very remorseful of that mistake and I think he’s moved forward from that, and he’s trying to make himself a better person, going through the process.” Mayfield made some questionable decisions this past season, including taunting Kansas fans with a crotch grab and a flag on the field after beating Ohio State, right in the middle of the Buckeyes’ “Block O” logo at midfield. Dorsey isn’t ruling out Mayfield, but one scout and one high-level exec told Cabot that they see a lot of Johnny Manziel in him.
- We recently learned that the Ravens discussed a Jarvis Landry trade with the Dolphins last year. With Landry on course for free agency, one has to wonder if Baltimore will make a play for him.