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Thursday, November 08, 2007

What Should the Cleveland Browns Do?

They have a budding star in QB Derek Anderson, and they invested a lot of money in Brady Quinn.

A few years ago, the Bengals drafted Carson Palmer in the first round and kept him on the bench while Jon Kitna started for a year. Kitna played well, but the Bengals let him go to make room for Palmer. Kitna has gone on and played well in Detroit, but all would agree that he's no Carson Palmer. Palmer was a transcendant QB in college and labeled a "can't miss" pro. He hasn't disappointed.

Fast forward to the other Ohio city where they play pro football. Anderson looks to be better than Kitna (and Kitna is the starting QB for a 6-2 team, so I might be going a little bit out on a limb here), but Quinn didn't ultimately land as a "can't miss" pro. True, he went into the draft as a "can't miss" pro, but then he fell to the end of the first round. Questions abounded about how good he really is and whether he was simply a product of a great offensive coach in Charlie Weis. The guess here is that the questions have redoubled now that Weis's honeymoon in South Bend is over and questions have been raised about how good he is as a head coach (and not to go off on a tangent, but I wonder what facial expressions Tyrone Willingham displays when he hears that Notre Dame has lost yet another game).

The Browns have invested a lot of money in Quinn, and they'll have to make a decision on Anderson. Do you go with the guy who has made the plays all year on a team that is exciting, or do you go with the guy who was your first-round draft pick and in whom you've invested a lot of money and some cap room?

There are lots of old-time sayings that come to mind, but it says here that if Phil Savage is wise, he signs Anderson to a long-term deal and moves Quinn to a team that is looking for a long-term answer at quarterback. He has to be careful, though, because when Atlanta did that 15+ years ago, they traded a second-year player out of Southern Mississippi to the Packers for a high draft pick, and that kid turned out to be Brett Favre. I am not a cap expert, but it strikes me that Quinn's sinking in the first round cost him a lot of money, saved the Browns money and makes him a more attractive acquisition for a team looking for an answer at QB.

It says here that the Browns will find takers for Quinn if they opt to go that route. They have a hard decision, but they have a good thing going and should remember that, Brady Quinn or no Brady Quinn.


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