With all the talk that that the Browns are looking to trade for another quarterback, I ran through all the possibilities. Well, all the possibilities outside Derek Anderson. The Browns do need a quarterback of the future and it becomes more apparent by the minute that the Browns do not envision Brady Quinn as their guy. That is not to say that he won't become a good starting quarterback in the league. As a matter of fact the chances are better that once he leaves Cleveland he will transform into the second coming of Joe Montana. Thank the football gods for that irony.
The Browns will probably be looking more like a West Coast team when the take the field this year. The keys to that offense are a back that can catch the ball (Jerome Harrison-Check) and a intelligent quarterback that in especially accurate (Bueller...Bueller...).Holmgren is know for his identification of amazing quarterbacks. He has been involved with Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, Kurt Warner (signed by GB in 1993 as an undrafted free agent and I love Warner and had to have him in here) and Matt Hasslebeck. Now the question is, who will be his next target?
Every media outlet in Cleveland is pining for Donovan McNabb. Why not? It would make up for missing out on him in the 1999 Draft when the powers that were decided on being Couch potatoes instead of researching the players. McNabb went second to the Eagles even though they booed him. He is a winner. He is accurate. He knows the game and is a great teammate. The drawbacks are that his is injury prone, he has missed 17 games since 2005. And he is 33 years old. He would only be a stopgap for the next guy and an expensive stopgap at that. The Eagles are said to be looking for a 1st round pick for him. Is it worth it to lose a 1st rounder for a guy that will only be around for two years (and may not play all of the games during that short tenure)?
Out of the same city, off the same team, is Kevin Kolb. He is a better choice for the Browns than McNabb would be. He was picked by current Browns GM Tom Heckert and Heckert is still infatuated with him. He has the accuracy (64% comp.) and the leadership. He is also a younger quarterback, at 25. The problems are that he is from a spread system in the University of Houston and is a tick slow at getting through his reads, and a bit too impatient as he often guns it in before he gets through his reads. This led him to have an enormously high interception percentage for his amount of playing time. Last year in limited time he tossed 4 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. This year he was nabbed for 3 picks compared with his 4 touchdowns. He completes his passes but more often than you'd like it is to the other team. Obviously this is nit picking and can be corrected with more experience. The possibilities for trades include next year's (2011) 1st round pick and/or Shaun Rogers. Not to mention he could have a great nickname, Kevin "Corn on the" Kolb.
Matt Hasslebeck was acquired by Holmgren after he took over the Seahawks. He led Seattle to 5 playoff appearances and a Super Bowl while also being selected to the Pro Bowl 3 times. He, like McNabb is older (34). He is a leader and is accurate. He has a proven track record. But, also like McNabb, he is injury prone. His bad back had forced him to miss 12 games the past two seasons. He would, however be a much less expensive stopgap, probably costing a mid-round pick.
Last, but not least, is a name I have not heard: Kyle Orton. The Broncos are looking for another quarterback (though for the life of me I don't see why). They have been rumored to be looking at McNabb and at trading for Brady Quinn. The rumor of the Quinn trade is what sparked this idea. The rumor had talented and troubled WR Brandon Marshall heading to Cleveland for Brady Quinn. A lobsided trade if I had every heard one. The Denver Post came up with that idea, as Josh McDaniels is finished with Marshall (he even held Marshall out of their final game). McDaniels, who is of the Charlie Weiss tree would like a quarterback that fits his system. Quinn is that guy, having served under Weiss at Notre Dame. Orton is accurate. Orton definitely does not make absurd amounts of mistakes. He is only two years older than Kolb. And if anyone can be the next Drew Brees, why not the guy who took over for Brees at Purdue after Brees went to the NFL? If Denver wants out of the Orton camp and wants to check in to the Brady Quinn hotel, by all means make it happen. I see a fit for both sides. I don't know if anything else would have to be added to this to make it work but I would not foresee more than maybe a 3rd or 4th. And it will bring up rumors of adding Shaun Rogers to the trade and seeing how close it would be to get Marshall also (not that that is a good idea).
All that being said this is mere conjecture and I have not heard it mentioned anywhere else. I do believe it would work for both teams and would definitely be worth discussing for Cleveland and Denver. This may actually be my top choice for the next Browns' QB, as it would save a 1st round draft pick and would not be a stopgap player. This would be as good a fit as Kolb (who would be a great fit in his own right), but would be a more cost effective choice. I don't know what will happen, but I do know that it will be an interesting offseason for the Cleveland Browns.