Don’t read on unless you’re already sitting down, because this is going to be one heck of a plot twist: the Cleveland Browns tried to trade for a quarterback. Stunning, I know, but we now know yet another quarterback that the team has attempted and failed to trade for over the course of the last two seasons, and this one has a Super Bowl ring.
A report surfaced yesterday that the Browns attempted to trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles just before the league year started in 2018, offering up their 35th-overall selection early in the second round in compensation.
The Eagles and Foles declined, the pair choosing to remain together, and there is logic on both sides. Foles showed last season that he can execute the offense, and they have to be cautious with Carson Wentz returning from a torn ACL. And Foles knows that there won’t be any long-term opportunity to start in Cleveland anyway.
The Browns did end up moving a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in exchange for former Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is leading their offense to start OTAs, but everybody including himself knows that the clock is ticking before Baker Mayfield is under center, whether that comes at some point this year, or perhaps next season.
The team is also known to have tried and failed to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo and AJ McCarron. The San Francisco 49ers ended up successfully dealing a second-round pick for the former from the New England Patriots, and just signed him to a major new deal.
As for McCarron, they did successfully agree to terms on the trade with the Cincinnati Bengals, right at the trade deadline. The problem was it was too close to the deadline, and they screwed up their end of the paperwork, meaning that the terms of the trade were not submitted for approval by the league in time, nullifying the trade. The quarterback is now in Buffalo backing up Josh Allen.
As for Foles, his future is not exactly set in stone, either. Garoppolo was viewed as an immovable commodity until he was moved. If Wentz gets back onto the field in September and looks like his old self, it’s quite possible that the Eagles move on a trade. They haven’t been afraid to make bold roster moves over the past couple of years under Todd Pederson.
In the long run, it doesn’t really mean a great deal for the Browns that they tried and failed to trade for Foles. They knew all along that they would be using a first-round draft pick on their quarterback, and that that quarterback would be given the opportunity to become the face of their franchise. Whether Foles or Taylor, their time would be brief.