So I bet you’ve never heard this one before: the Cleveland Browns are all ears if anybody is interested in buying their top draft pick. This has worked out real well for them in the recent past, I say sarcastically, though this time the cast has changed, as new general manager John Dorsey, regarded as a ‘football guy’ who cut his teeth with the Green Bay Packers’ front office, was the one saying it.
Speaking at the Combine earlier this week, he was asked about the team’s plans for the number one pick and whether or not they would be open to moving it. “There’s a lot of things I can do at No. 1 and not just get a quarterback”, he said. “My door is wide open if somebody wants to come up and talk to me about a trade, I’m willing to trade. But also I’m going to do what’s best for this organization, and I will do that”.
The Browns have had the first- or second-overall draft pick over the course of the previous two drafts and either traded back from that pick or used it on a position other than quarterback. In 2016, they held the second-overall pick but traded back twice to get to 15, passing up the opportunity to select Carson Wentz. Last year, they traded back with the Houston Texans, who selected Deshaun Watson.
Of course, the organization has an extended history of passing on quarterbacks who have gone on to have strong careers and instead pulling the trigger on late-first-round duds such as Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and most spectacularly, Johnny Manziel.
Dorsey quickly went on record after he was made the new general manager midseason in 2017 to say that his top priority is fixing the quarterback position. While saying that he is open to receiving calls about the top pick is not tantamount to saying he’s not going to draft a quarterback, if I were a Browns fan, it might concern me a bit.
Then again, they could simply sign Kirk Cousins in free agency, which, based on Hue Jackson’s recent comments would likely prevent the team from also drafting one of the top quarterbacks. If you sign Cousins, then you are going all-in with him, and instead you can use your vast resources to build an offense around him.
In a line that will no doubt rile up some Pittsburgh Steelers fans, Dorsey went on to say, “any good G.M. wants to field phone calls from all of his peers. Why wouldn’t I? That’s why I say, ‘Give me a call and see what’s up’”.
The Steelers have a bit of a reputation of being in their own bubble. General Manager Kevin Colbert recently basically just said that they are only now fielding calls about trading Martavis Bryant so that they can inform inquirers that they’re wasting their time.