Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center in March. Who will take Garrett in the NFL draft is the source of debate around draft experts. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Those of us who cover the NFL for a living understand the months leading up to the NFL Draft represent the league’s lying season.

Agents, organizations and players themselves say things they don’t mean, either on purpose or because their tongues slipped. Regardless of the reasons, pretty much everything that is said via a source, rumor or report must be taken with a grain of salt.

Never has this been more perfectly illustrated than what you are about to see.

Following a report Monday night that the Cleveland Browns organization is split about whether to draft a quarterback or take Myles Garrett, this happened.

Two separate reports by two people who have sources in the NFL are in direct conflict here.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report is hearing the Browns are clashing because head coach Hue Jackson wants a quarterback but the front office wants Myles Garrett. Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com is reporting the exact opposite — that the Browns are clashing because Jackson wants Garrett but the front office wants a quarterback. The Browns would be crazy to take a quarterback at the top of the draft instead of Garrett, but I digress.

This kind of stuff drives fan bases crazy. It stirs up conversation and it keeps people on the edge, impatiently anticipating the moment when their team finally selects a player in the first round of the NFL Draft.

It is also completely intentional and serves another purpose — it keeps teams guessing about what their opponents are actually thinking about leading up to the draft. For the Browns in this case, it’s highly likely that Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta and Co. actually wouldn’t mind luring a team that desperately needs a quarterback into making a deal for the No. 1 overall pick.

Nobody knows what is going to happen. It’s a huge game of chess in which teams use the media as a pawn to put out disinformation. There are plenty of other recent examples of leaks that are designed for the sole purpose of creating doubt and intrigue.

The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly “seriously considering” using the No. 2 overall pick to select former LSU running back Leonard Fournette. The Buffalo Bills are looking at top quarterbacks (it’s a fact) but are trying to convince their fans that perhaps it’s nothing more than a smokescreen. The list goes on and on.

With all that being said, don’t believe anything you read this spring until either a trade actually happens or the players start coming off the board.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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QUIZ: Name every Browns QB since their last Pro Bowler at the position

The last time the Cleveland Browns had a Pro Bowl quarterback was 2007. In the nine years since, 17 different NFL players have made starts at the position. Can you name them?

Clue: Years active

Hint: None of them have been or are very good.

Score:
0/19
Time:
3:00
2008
Bruce Gradkowski
2008
Ken Dorsey
2008-2009
Brady Quinn
2008-2009
Derek Anderson
2010-2011
Seneca Wallace
2010
Jake Delhomme
2010-2011
Colt McCoy
2012
Thad Lewis
2012-2013
Brandon Weeden
2013-2014
Brian Hoyer
2013
Jason Campbell
2014
Connor Shaw
2014-2015
Johnny Manziel
2015-2016
Josh McCown
2015
Austin Davis
2016
Robert Griffin III
2016
Cody Kessler
2017
DeShone Kizer
2017
Kevin Hogan
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