The Browns made one of the biggest-- if not unconventional--moves in NFL history by taking on Brock Osweiler's exorbitant salary to pick up a second-round draft pick in 2016.
But what's their end game?
The Browns value draft picks, but to pay $16 million for a likely lower tier second-round pick in 2018 cannot be what they're ultimately shooting for, can it?
“We’re really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown. “Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team."
Brown only mentioned Osweiler in the final sentence of the release.
Hopefully, the Browns have the next move already set up. Speculation would be that they would use the ammunition they've stored up to acquire a starting quarterback for this season and beyond. They now have three, second-round picks in 2018 to go with two in 2017. They also have two, first-round picks this year.
If they plan on going after New England's Jimmy Garoppolo, hopefully, they have a good idea what it will take to close the deal. If they are sold that he is the answer, they should try and move quickly on it.
With Tyrod Taylor restructuring his deal to stay in Buffalo, Mike Glennon to Chicago, Brian Hoyer to San Francisco, there doesn't seem to be a lot of options for the Browns at this point, in terms of veterans, especially if they plan on moving on from Robert Griffin III and Osweiler.
Right now, it appears the pickings are getting slim. Tony Romo and Jay Cutler don't seem to be viable options at this point for a team that is trying to re-build.
Garoppolo seems to be the logical target. If the Patriots stand firm on not trading him, the Browns will likely look to the draft for the answer. If the Browns don't know what the price to make a trade with New England is, they likely shouldn't have made the move. It is a bit baffling how Garoppolo's value seems to continue to go up, yet he still only has played six quarters.
The Browns appear to have no interest in Osweiler and yet were willing to absorb his ridiculous $16 million salary with no intention of keeping him. Do you think Garoppolo (or any other quarterback's agent, for that matter) is going to use that in negotiations with the Browns?
By the way, Osweiler might be a better option than Griffin in 2017, even though I don't think either is the answer.
The first free agent moves of prioritizing the offensive line could help whomever the quarterback is. Many fans have been suggesting the Browns should go all in to beef up the offensive line before bringing in a quarterback. Last year, the line gave up a league high 66 sacks. If the Browns decide to draft a quarterback with one of their first round picks, they might feel more comfortable playing him behind a strong line and a strong running game, ala Dak Prescott with the Cowboys last season.
By signing Kevin Zeitler, J.C. Tretter and extending Joel Bitonio bodes well for the offensive line upgrade. If the Browns decide to go with DeShaun Watson or Mitchell Trubisky, it's good to have a strong line in front of him.
Most experts think post-combine that Myles Garrett will be the first pick by the Browns, but the Browns could find their quarterback with the 12 pick. Before the free agency signings the prevailing thought was that quarterbacks are over-valued, none of the three projected top three quarterbacks would be there at 12. With the 49ers, Bears and Bills possibly not being as desperate to draft a quarterback now, it is possible that Watson, Trubisky or DeShone Kizer could all be available at 12.
With the plethora of picks the Browns now possess, they could move up and get the quarterback they want, if they had to at all.
Whatever plays out, hopefully, the Browns didn't make the creative, but expensive trade with the Texans for nothing more than a future draft choice--but their franchise quarterback.