If you have two quarterbacks, you really have none, right?
Giving new meaning to that bromide is the chaos in College Station as quarterbacks are walking out on Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Quarterback Kyler Murray is the latest to be rumored to be contemplating a transfer, less than a week after QB Kyle Allen announced that he was leaving the program.
The problem appears to be about more than playing time, with Murray feeling let down that he was promised the starting job, and then benched for Allen later in the year. Murray supposedly feels he can’t trust Sumlin, even though Allen’s exit would seem to guarantee him the starting spot.
So, what does this have to do with the Browns, other than Sumlin’s history of college success with QB Johnny Manziel?
Well, if you remember your Tony Grossi-lambastes-the-Browns columns, and I know you do, back in October the WKNR reporter offered the following:
“Farmer likes Manziel so much, I’ve been told by a source that knows Farmer well, that he would hire Kevin Sumlin as coach of the Browns if he had his druthers, which he does not. Sumlin was Manziel’s head coach at Texas A&M and was able to harness the college phenomenon that was Johnny Football.”
There’s the link between the Browns and Sumlin. Sources and all that. In Grossi’s case, sources are usually actual people, rather than the imaginary talkative elves quoted as sources in other parts of the Internet.
Premium Members are asking questions about Sumlin in Ask the Insiders. Become a Premium Member today and join us!
So, with players bailing out on Sumlin in College Station, could there be nefarious goings-on which would land the head coach in Cleveland? Could these players be leaving because they know their coach is about to head to the NFL?
It sure doesn’t seem that way. Sumlin’s problems at Texas A&M look to be of his own making, and not a side-effect of some secret backroom deal with the Browns. If it is, then disaffected college athletes are being quiet and acting not disaffected-college-athlete-like.
In addition, Sumlin has slipped a bit since his glory days with Manziel and his $30 million contract extension with the Aggies in December, 2013. The Aggies have put together a losing record in the SEC since Manziel left after the 2013 season, and his handling of the two quarterbacks this season is leaving him nearly empty-handed heading into 2016, should Murray transfer.
So, while it’s conceivable that Sumlin might be eager to bail rather than struggle without his top two quarterbacks next season, it’s much less conceivable that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is already sure of the direction he wants to go after the season and has worked something out with the Sumlin.
After all, the “Browns way” is to fire everyone without the slightest idea who will replace them, and then be disappointed as all the high-profile candidates flee from the prospect of coming here. For an organization that has lacked consistency in nearly aspect of their operation, that’s one approach that seems to be standard operating procedure.
UPDATE 1217 8:30AM: The speculation begins, courtesy of Robert Smith.
Barry McBride is the Lord High Master of Rumor Central and was really kind of stretching it on this one because he was bored. But, if you can forgive that, and want to read short messages from a distressed Browns fan who drinks his way through the season while going slowly insane, you can follow him on Twitter @BarryMcBride.