Given how the past year has gone, it’s an easy scenario to conjure up. The Cleveland Browns have already attempted to trade for three different quarterbacks that we know of. Will they attempt to pursue the most recent Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles? He is a backup quarterback who remains under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
They were after Jimmy Garoppolo around draft time in 2017. The New England Patriots wouldn’t budge—until they would, dealing him to the 49ers, who just gave him the biggest per-year contract in NFL history.
They were after AJ McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals, who wanted to come, hoping to land a starting opportunity. McCarron is still awaiting word on whether or not he will be considered an unrestricted free agent. The Browns managed to successfully negotiate a trade for him, but failed to submit the appropriate paperwork before the deadline.
Most recently, Cleveland also went after Alex Smith, who was just traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to Washington for a third-round pick and Kyle Fuller. The Browns reportedly offered a second-round pick but were not as willing as Washington to commit as much in an extension for Smith, knowing they own the first-overall pick.
There is already talk about them potentially wanting to go after Kirk Cousins, who following Washington’s acquisition of Smith is all but certain to be allowed to hit the open market without receiving the franchise tag for the third season in a row.
But they have already proven that they are willing to attempt to make a trade as they seek answers for their long-suffering fan base about how to fix the quarterback position. They have not had a stable starter since Bernie Kosar.
Both head coach Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey have spoken of looking at every option to address the position, including both acquiring a veteran and using one of their top picks on a rookie quarterback.
They certainly have the resources to make something happen. They have more than $100 million available to them in cap space—which, as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, is mind-boggling—and two picks in the top five, with five total picks in the first two rounds, and eight in the first four rounds.
There hasn’t been an offseason recently in which the Browns did not extensively work trades, though the majority of those trades were made with the idea of acquiring draft capital. They have shown they will trade for talent, however, for example with Jamie Collins, who they acquired during the 2016 season and then signed to a long-term deal.
I’m not saying it would be a good idea for the Browns to go after Foles. They need to have the right system and support around him for him to actually flourish as he did in the postseason. But it does sound like something they would do, no?