Examining the Cleveland Browns' Quarterback Conundrum

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Examining the Cleveland Browns' Quarterback Conundrum
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The quarterback controversy never seems to end in Cleveland.

This topic is timely with the trade winds swirling around Brady Quinn.

"Trade winds are blowing, and the Cleveland Browns seem to be making the most noise of any team. I hear from more than one NFL team that the Browns have a No. 1 pick on the table for Brady Quinn and are looking for more," writes Mike Lombardi of The National Football Post. "However, it appears to the teams that I’ve talked to that the Browns will make the move to trade Quinn. There seem to be two teams very interested."

This follows the rumors that the Browns were after Jay Cutler and Quinn was the piece that was going to help land the former Bronco signal caller. Of course that did not come to fruition, so Brady is still a Brown, for now.

I find this all a bit puzzling.

All along I had presumed the Browns were throwing out the signals that there was to be an open competition at the QB position. I thought they would do this only to help inflate the trade value of the real QB they want to trade, Derek Anderson.

It made sense as there would be no reason to publicly hand the position over to Quinn and reduce the value of Anderson. But now with this latest coming from Lombardi, I'm starting to get the sense that the Browns may be wanting to unload Quinn after all.

Sure, it would be nice to land another first round pick in this year's draft; however, I can't sit and watch another year with Anderson at the helm.

With Eric Mangini bringing the Jets' West Coast offensive system to Cleveland, Quinn is better equipped to run the offense compared to the inaccurate Anderson.

With that being said, here is how I think the situation should play out. I would trade Anderson for a draft pick, presumably a third round pick sounds about right. Thus, this would lead the way for Brady to be named the starter.

Now that Tampa has signed Byron Leftwich and the mediocre former Brown Luke McCown, who got a ridiculous $5 million guaranteed contract, there is no need for the Bucs to hang on to Brian Griese.

This is where I think the Browns should scoop up the veteran to be the backup for one season. Say what you will, but Griese is one of the best backup QBs in the NFL and could easily fill in for a few games, if needed, and perform admirably.

Signing Griese allows the Browns to see what Brady Quinn can do for a full regular season. Since they are admittedly in a rebuilding season, why not give the young QB a chance to play? If after the season the Browns don't feel he is the answer, there will be plenty of QBs available in next year's draft to choose from.

You'd have to assume if Quinn does not play well the Browns will have another top five pick. Guys likely to be around high in the draft include Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, with others such as Tim Tebow, Zac Robinson, Jevan Snead, and Dan LeFevour most likely available after round one.

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