Cleveland Browns' team president Mike Holmgren made his first bargain with his old team on Monday by trading for quarterback/wide receiver Seneca Wallace.
While not a blockbuster trade—the Browns reportedly only gave up a late round 2011 pick for Wallace—this move does add depth to the roster at quarterback and wide receiver.
How does this tade help the team? And what will happen to Brady Quinn and Brett Ratliff?
Derek Anderson’s roster bonus, coupled with his poor performance, makes it extremely unlikely he’ll still be on the roster in a few weeks, so he doesn’t even figure into this equation.
Ratliff has no career stats at the pro level; he has never taken a snap since the Jets signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2007. This trade would indicate the front office is not interested in developing Ratliff at this point.
Seneca has been good, but not great in his 14 career starts for Seattle since 2003. He’s thrown 333-of-556 for 3,547 yards with 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He’s gone 5-9 as a starter.
Holmgren knows Seneca, and this move is not entirely unexpected. The Browns are saying Seneca will be a backup, which is good news for Brady Quinn, but only if Holmgren is actually committed to Quinn.
If Quinn is standing on the field, looking over his shoulder again like last year, then Wallace could end up being the Browns' starting quarterback very quickly. Holmgren said he doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s disaster at the starting quarterback position, but Holmgren needs to be questioned the same way Eric Mangini was.
It's possible Quinn may also be on the way out, which means the Browns would be starting from scratch. Either way in this scenario, the Browns would be putting a QB out there with relatively little starting experience.
The questionable part of that scenario is the hoop-jumping the Browns are going through just to start back at square one. It's a scenario that every Browns fan should question if it comes to pass.
On the positive side, Wallace also adds depth at the wide receiver position, so the trade brings the Browns value with additional depth where there really was none at the end of 2009.
This move doesn’t preclude the Browns taking a quarterback in the draft, but there really is no quarterback worth taking in the early rounds this year for the Browns given their needs elsewhere.
Whether you favor Jimmy Clausen, Sam Bradford, or Colt McCoy, the Browns have to take advantage of the depth of talent on defense available in this year’s draft Whichever quarterback the Browns put at the top of their draft board most likely will be the one taken before the seventh pick.
Plus, if you’re going to draft a first round quarterback, Quinn was drafted in the first round, and he’s hardly had enough time to give a completely fair assessment of his abilities.
The Wallace trade doesn’t have me bouncing off the walls in glee, but it’s not a bad move, depending on what the Browns ultimately do with Wallace and Quinn.
So far, the Browns are three-for-three in deals that have gone public, with tight end Ben Watson visiting on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert can make it four-for-four.
UPDATE 3:35 P.M.: Derek Anderson has been released.