R.J. and I make fun of the Cleveland Browns on the forums of the BoSox Tavern Blog. We both seem to realize that the team has made some real bad decisions since coming back to the league (Tim Couch, Johnny Manziel, Trent Richardson, Courtney Brown, and Braylon Edwards just to name a few). Those names don't include the revolving door at G.M., Coach, President of Football Operations, Popcorn Vendors, Cheerleaders, and anybody else associated with this franchise. But this new regime that has been assembled since January has made a smart move by trading the #2 Pick in the 2016 draft to Philadelphia. Let's examine why.
1. Let's say that Carson Wentz has a Hall of Fame career. And he would have been the Browns pick at #2. It doesn't matter. Why? The Browns don't have the support staff on the field to make this happen. At best, Cleveland is 3 years away from considering a playoff run because of the lack of talent on the team. Can you see the team putting in a rookie Quarterback with an Offensive Line that is inadequate at best? As we have seen time and time again with this team, the Quarterback will eventually start shucking and ducking. (See David Carr in Houston to see the prime example of this). We know that RG III isn't a long term answer. He doesn't have the escapability that he had in his Rookie year. His ability to get injured does not bode well for playing all 16 games. Josh McCown? Same with injuries. So you bring in Wentz and there is no O-Line to keep him upright, you might as well start identifying your next QB three years from now. You know that he will get hit time and time again. A QB is only as good as his Offensive Line makes him. And there is a lack of an Offensive Line in Cleveland.
2. Hue Jackson. Hue has his man in RG III. I am going to assume that he was the one that convinced Upper Management that he can rehabilitate Griffin. He is known as a coach that can get the most out of his QB's. I trust the Head Coach to know what he wants to do with the team. RG III is a bargain if he regains what made him special in his rookie year. I don't think he can, but who am I to argue with Hue?
3. The picks acquired. While only getting a 3rd and 4th round pick this year, the #1 in 2017 and #2 in 2018 are the real value picks here. The Browns got those picks while going back 6 spots in the 2016 draft that they are not convinced has a Franchise QB available to them. So you get an unsexy pick at #8 like a DE or a LT (And yes I know they have Joe Thomas. That will come into play later in this post). It improves the team and brings in more new blood of players that are highly thought of. If the scouting department does it's job, we can see talent starting to accumulate in Cleveland.
4. Setting realistic expectations of the Cleveland fans. Each and every year, we hear Browns fans telling us that the team will surprise us by making the playoffs and showing why they have faith. Well, now they can face the cold hard reality that the team needs to rebuild everything. There should be nobody safe from being cut or traded. And this leads us into #5 which will anger Browns fans.
5. Trade Joe Thomas. Right now, this is the guy that you can truthfully say is the best player on the team. He is 31 years old. He is a valuable commodity for many teams. Now is the time to trade him. You can get at least another 1st Round pick if not more for him in a trade. Here is what I do if I am in the Cleveland Brass. I let word leak that Joe Thomas is available for the right price. I ask for a 1st Rounder in 2016 or 17. Also included is a 3rd or 4th rounder in 2017. And here is the key, a developmental QB that the team likes. That way, you add more pieces that are highly thought of, you get that mid round pick that makes teams good if they can find starters there and you possibly have your QB for the next 10 years if the developmental QB develops like you want while watching the game from the sidelines for a year or two.
The new and shiny QBs come out each and every year. And you can always grab one if you want. You know the price, but the Browns have the worst roster in the league and the past couple of drafts haven't satisfied anybody. The talent level needs to be improved in all facets of the team. A rookie QB will not do it for this franchise. Getting the picks they did from Philadelphia and the picks and possible parts from a Joe Thomas trade will allow the talent level to rise. And from that point, we will see if the Moneyball Gang for Football can get this franchise up off the floor (no, not laying right beside a passed out Johnny Manziel). Because right now, this team is the laughingstock of the league.