The NFL is in an interesting place when it comes to the most important position, quarterback. While the Browns have struggled to fill that vital position for years, next year could be a big issue for a variety of teams. Players that were assumed to be "Franchise Guys" in the last few years are likely to be available either in free agency or cheaply in a trade.
Some players like Jay Cutler, Geno Smith and Sam Bradford are a part of that discussion. Cutler is having a resurgence but is too expensive and obviously not the long term answer in Chicago. Smith just hasn't made a difference enough in New York to be a part of their future. He is still young enough but his leadership skills have been questioned as well as his decision making on the field. Bradford hasn't been the Chip Kelly answer he had hoped.
For the Browns, those three don't make a lot of sense given the current leadership. Cutler and Smith are too erratic both on the field and off. Bradford's injury history and performance this year have greatly diminished his value short and long term.
However, with news of Colin Kaepernick being benched for Blaine Gabbert, there are three interesting dual threat QBs that could be starting behind center for the Browns in 2016: Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel. None are perfect or they wouldn't be available.
An argument here for each of the QBs, then give us your preference in the forum below:
Manziel is the one we know. He has his off the field issues, has struggled on the field and has a very unknown future ahead of him. The Browns have invested a couple years in Manziel and it would be tough for them to feel comfortable with him going forward. However, they do know him. All of him. The devil we know is often seen as better than the devil we don't.
The Browns have Manziel under contract for 2 more season, relatively cheaply. They also wouldn't have to compete with other teams looking to sign or trade for the other QBs. The Browns also have been working to develop a support system, including their QB coach, to help Manziel. It would be tough to turn their back on all of that.
Robert Griffin III
RG3 was the QB that the Browns "almost" had but were outbid by Washington. He went on to light the league on fire and made people think he would change the league. Instead, the last couple of years have been a disaster. Mike and Kyle Shanahan couldn't make it work and put RG3 in a terrible position physically with his injuries. Jay Gruden hasn't been any better as Griffin doesn't fit his mold at the position.
Griffin will be cut after the season. It will be interesting what team gives him a chance. A place like New Orleans could interest him to develop behind an aging great veteran. The Browns could be intrigued by giving him a fresh start after a year to get fully healthy without playing. The Browns would have competition for his services but money and opportunity would be on their side.
Kaepernick is the newest, former "Franchise Guy" that is likely to be on the market. His contract has no further guaranteed money on his contract and seems likely to be cut or traded cheaply. He led the 49ers to 3 straight NFC Championship games and 1 Super Bowl appearance. He hasn't developed as many would have expected but the talent has been obvious.
This year the bottom has dropped out for both the Niners and Kap this year. The offensive scheme is overly simple, the offensive line is bad and his footwork and fundamentals have failed. That doesn't mean he is done and could develop in a new situation with a better offensive line and system. The Browns are clearly that compared to the Niners at this point. Kap is likely to have a lot of suitors which could lead to a trade and restructure of contract. The Browns should have the assets to make that deal.
So who would you pick, all things being equal, between Kap, RG3 and Johnny?