Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 3/5/13
You may remember back in 2010 (you know the last time there was a complete overhaul in Berea) we wanted to give incoming President Mike Holmgren a hand evaluating the roster. We are nothing if not equal opportunity. The Browns have a completely new group in charge this year. Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Rob Chudzinski, Norv Turner and Ray Horton take over a 5-11 team. They have plenty of important decisions to make about the roster between now and the 2013 NFL Draft. WFNY wants to offer our assistance with The Banner Position Reports. Previous reports: LB The position. Highly paid, highly touted, and highly analyzed, the quarterback is just one of 22 players on the field, but he’s the one most often tasked with being the reason a team wins or loses. There is a growing number of “elite” quarterbacks and a growing frustration among Cleveland fans as the revolving door at the position has yet to produce a name that can even be entered into the conversation.  With regard to the Browns, not only do you have a 30-year-old quarterback in his second year — one who cost you the 22nd-overall selection one year ago — but there is the variable of the new regime and the ever-pressing notion that regime’s prefer to hitch their respective wagons to their guys; this notion is top-down, by no means insular to just the quarterback, but is magnified due to the way in which the league has morphed. Philosophical shifts are, in turn, colliding head-on with an impatient fan base. If Brandon Weeden is not going to be the next elite quarterback in what is increasingly becoming a quarterback’s league, the team obviously needs to move on. Or do they… The 2012 Season: Starter: Brandon Weeden Key reserves: Colt McCoy, Thaddeus Lewis Statistics (Via Yahoo! Sports): Passing G Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A Y/G TD Int Long Sack Yds/L QBRat Fum FumL                                 Brandon Weeden 15 297 517 57.4 3385 6.5 225.7 14 17 71 28 186 72.6 6 1 Thaddeus Lewis 1 22 32 68.8 204 6.4 204 1 1 23 3 14 83.3 0 0 Colt McCoy 3 9 17 52.9 79 4.6 26.3 1 0 21 4 25 85.2 0 0 For the first time in a long time, the Browns were able to get 15 games and a solid amount of passing yards out of their quarterback. Given that this also came from a rookie, one would assume that the lenses would be a bit rosier — this has not been the case. Whether it was the abysmal quarterback rating from the team’s winnable (but lost) Opening Day game against the Eagles or the multiple receivers who were overthrown in critical situations or the batted passes or… the numbers simply do not tell the whole truth. Certainly, Weeden displayed some moments that made fans excited — there was a stretch of play in 2012 where the Browns’ quarterback appeared to be more advanced that Andrew Luck, the first-overall, sure-fire selection. This teeter-totter, however, quickly changed directions. For every game that the Browns were seemingly in because of their defense, it would be the offense that could not capitalize. Weeden, at times, looked extremely uncomfortable, opting for the check-down routes despite being provided plenty of time in the pocket. His decision-making skills were questionable; his footwork, even worse. Not helping matters: the success of the considerably shorter and later-round draft selection in Seattle’s Russell Wilson. Contract Situation: Brandon Weeden: In 2012, signed a four-year, $8.083 million contract. The deal included a $4.318 million signing bonus. Weeden’s first three base salaries are fully guaranteed, as is $920,000 of his fourth-year salary. 2013: $757,436, 2014: $1,124,872, 2015: $1,492,308, 2016: Free Agent Colt McCoy: In 2010, signed a four-year, $4.96 million contract. The deal contains $1.07 million guaranteed, including a $751,000 signing bonus. 2013: $2.325 million, 2014: Free Agent Thaddeus Lewis: In 2012, signed a two-year, $1.02 million contract. 2013: $555,000, 2014: Restricted Free Agent Banner Report Advisory Alert: Guarded Look, I understand the unhappiness. I get that Weeden struggled — mightily, at times. I get that he produced one of the worst games ever when it comes to statistics. I get that he has red hair. All of this said, Brandon Weeden is entering his second season as a professional and will be doing so with a new head coach and offensive coordinator, both men being inherently more creative on the offensive side of the football, (reportedly) allowing the 6-foot-4-inch Weeden to take snaps from shotgun formations — his formation of choice in college. Also, as you will see below, replacement value exists mostly in the replacement. Sure, Brandon Weeden may not be lighting the world on fire, but will any of the players who could come in and take his spot be able to do so without exorbitant costs? The Draft: Per ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the following are the top five quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL Draft: Rank Name School Ht Wt Cmp Att Yards TD INT 1 Matt Barkley USC 6’2″ 230 246 387 3273 36 15 2 Geno Smith West Virginia 6’3″ 214 369 518 4205 42 6 3 Mike Glennon Stanford 6’6″ 218 330 564 4031 31 17 4 Tyler Wilson Arkansas 6’3″ 220 249 401 3387 21 13 5 Ryan Nassib Syracuse 6’2″ 229 294 471 3749 26 10 I’ve seen Smith labled as the top name. I’ve seen Nassib — somehow — garner consideration as the first quarterback taken. Matt Barkley is dreamy. That said, are any of these quarterbacks the next big thing? Kansas City, proprietors of the first overall selection, decided that they would be better suited in trading multiple draft picks to San Francisco for a 28-year-old Alex Smith instead of using a pick to draft the rookie of their choosing. Smith was cast aside by the eventual Super Bowl runners-up. Even if any of these player represented a marginal upgrade over Weeden, the cost — given that the team does not own a second-round selection and is transforming both sides of the ball — may not line up with the potential reward. Late-round gambles include Miami (Ohio) quarterback Zac Dysert, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, Florida State’s EJ Manuel, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, and Kansas State’s Collin Klein.   Top Free Agents: Name Age Ht Wt Cmp Att Yards TD INT Matt Moore 28 6’3″ 192 11 19 131 1 0 Jason Campbell 31 6’5″ 223 32 51 265 2 2 Tavaris Jackson 29 6’2″ 226 0 0 0 0 0 Brian Hoyer 27 6’3″ 215 30 53 330 1 2 Rex Grossman 32 6’1″ 222 0 0 0 0 0 Derek Anderson 29 6’6″ 229 4 4 58 0 0 Drew Stanton 28 6’3″ 236 0 0 0 0 0 David Carr 33 6’3″ 215 2 3 19 0 0 AJ Feeley 35 6’3″ 225 0 0 0 0 0 Brady Quinn 28 6’4″ 232 112 197 1141 2 8 While this list does not include potential trade targets, it is enough to seal the deal on why replacing Weeden this offseason is not of the utmost importance. When a ten-deep role call includes two former Browns quarterbacks and four quarterbacks who are older than Weeden, it’s safe to say that things are very top heavy with Matt Moore and then everyone else. The Browns could conceivably bring in one of these available players to challenge Weeden, or — at the very least — show him what it takes to remain in the NFL once you’re well north of 30, but therein lies the upside. If Brandon Weeden cannot get this team to the promised land, Rex Grossman or Drew Stanton sure as hell aren’t. I do believe that the current Browns front office is not sold on Weeden being their quarterback of the future. But I also believe that he will be given every chance to succeed, if only for the lack of a better alternative.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker