BEREA -- Sashi Brown isn’t holding out hope he can trade for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Does Brown envision trading for a veteran quarterback during the draft next week?
“No,” Cleveland’s executive vice president of football operations said Wednesday in a predraft news conference.
What about before the draft?
“Could we in theory? Yes. But are we planning on it or is that the plan? No,” Brown said.
Garoppolo was a target of the Browns in the offseason, but a deal with New England hasn’t happened. The Patriots maintained they wanted to keep Garoppolo, who’s entering the last year of his rookie contract, but director of player personnel Nick Carserio left the door slightly ajar Tuesday.
“Anything that we do, we’re always going to do what we think is in the best interest of our football team, and that’s how we approach it,” he said.
Garoppolo, who played well in two starts in 2016 before injuring his shoulder, would immediately step in as the starter in Cleveland and answer the lingering question at quarterback. If an unexpected, last-minute deal doesn’t happen, the Browns will have Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan at the position heading into the draft.
Osweiler was acquired March 9 in a trade with Houston in which the Brown received a second-round pick in 2018 in exchange for taking on Osweiler’s $16 million guaranteed salary in 2017. The Browns tried to trade him and considered releasing him but may be willing to give him a shot in training camp.
“We expect Brock to be here,” Brown said. “He’s done a good job coming in the first couple days, a positive young man who has some ability and talent. We look forward to him trying to establish himself here and have a chance to compete to be the starting quarterback.”
Osweiler, 26, has a 13-8 record as a starter but wore out his welcome in Houston after one season. His presence on the roster won’t preclude the Browns from drafting a quarterback but gives them insurance if they aren’t able to land the one they want.
The Browns have been linked to North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, a Mentor native. But if they take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick as expected, Trubisky could be gone before they pick again at No. 12.
“We do go into each draft with a plan. We prepare a lot,” Brown said. “That said, a lot of it is outside your hands, what players will be available, what trade partners might be willing.”
One option would be trading up from No. 12 to get Trubisky, and walterfootball.com reported Wednesday the Browns have talked to the New York Jets about the No. 6 pick. The Jets want Nos. 12, 33 and 108, while the Browns countered with Nos. 12, 52 and 145.
Brown wouldn’t comment on the report but did discuss his philosophy concerning trading up in the first round.
“Generally we value picks,” he said. “We think no matter how prepared you are, there’s always a lot of uncertainty in the draft. Every team misses. So we don’t want to get into a habit of turning two picks into one, so to speak. We just don’t think that’s a good way to do business over time.
“But that does not mean that if there was a player there we might not go take a shot. We think we’re positioned to be able to do that without impacting our draft too much.”
The Browns worked out Trubisky and have spent a lot of time with him.
“Positive young man, bright, very competitive, brings a lunchbox, blue-collar mentality to the position,” Brown said. “We were impressed by him.”
Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer are considered the top quarterbacks in the draft, but all have serious question marks and will have to make significant adjustments in complicated NFL offenses.
“If the quarterback has the physical talent to produce, has the work ethic, has the preparation and then most importantly has the aptitude, it may take him a little bit longer, but those guys typically do have success in the NFL,” vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry said. “Look, there are only so few people who walk the Earth who can play quarterback in the NFL. That makes it difficult in terms of projecting a number of college players to have success in the NFL system.”
- Scott Petrak's mock draft 2.0: Browns make a trade?
- NFL Draft: For years Mitchell Trubisky's goal has been to end Browns' QB curse, and he just might get that chance
- Browns QB Cody Kessler preparing as if he's the starter, not worrying about competition coming in the draft
- NFL Draft: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes' decision to pick football over baseball pays off as talent evaluators love his powerful arm
- With NFL Draft rapidly approaching, Browns still faced with uncertainty at QB
- North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky happy with his pro day performance; Browns exec Sashi Brown and coach Hue Jackson don't attend