Browns Brass Talk Colin Kaepernick Trade Rumors, Robert Griffin III, Josh Gordon

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 26: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have been linked to high-profile quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III after the Browns cut ties with controversial quarterback Johnny Manziel.

On Monday, three of the major decision-makers for the Browns—head coach Hue Jackson, Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown—met with the media to discuss the team's quarterback situation and suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon, among other topics, according to Mary Kay Cabot of

Per Cabot, Brown confirmed that the team is "moving forward on possibly signing Griffin and that the team is doing its due diligence," though Cabot noted that a signing didn't necessarily sound imminent.

Griffin, 26, spent the entire 2015 season on the bench as Kirk Cousins' backup in Washington. He was spectacular in his rookie season, throwing for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions and rushing for 815 yards and another seven scores, but injury issues and inconsistent play have marked his career since.

Jackson was impressed with Griffin after meeting with him, however, as he told Steve Wyche of the NFL Network on Sunday, per Marc Sessler of

It was a great meeting. I think he's obviously a tremendous talent and a great young man. He had a lot of success early in Washington and then things just didn't work out. Those things happen in the National Football League. But at the same time we are going through our process. We are going to be very diligent in what we are doing -- trying to make sure that we put the right quarterbacks on our football team and in that quarterback room. And that's one of my biggest responsibilities and also one of our organization's biggest responsibilities.

Jackson worked wonders with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and is considered one of the NFL's "quarterback whisperers," so he could be just the man to revitalize Griffin's career. The Browns would be expecting as much if they ultimately sign the former Washington star.

Brown also said that while the team had preliminary talks with the San Francisco 49ers to gauge interest in Kaepernick, it did not plan on trading for him and didn't anticipate future discussions in that regard.

He added that the team didn't discuss compensation with the Niners or a new contract with Kaepernick.

Much like Griffin, Kaepernick, 28, has been inconsistent in his career. He led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship Game in 2013, but the Niners failed to reach the postseason the past two years, and Kaepernick struggled and was eventually benched for Blaine Gabbert in 2015.

Finally, both Brown and Jackson spoke about Gordon, reiterating that the plan was to proceed as though he wouldn't be available to the team. If he is reinstated, the pair confirmed they would need to evaluate Gordon before bringing him back into the locker room.

"It's not going to be about words, it's going to be about actions," Brown said.

Cleveland will likely be hopeful that Gordon has learned and grown from his suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in football in 2013, catching 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He would immediately be the team's top playmaker upon his return and would significantly upgrade a receiving corps that lost its top receiver in 2015, Travis Benjamin, to free agency.

But after the disastrous tenure of Manziel and the distractions that his off-field issues brought in 2015, it's hard to blame the team for its caution in regard to Gordon's potential return.


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