On the eve of Free Agency 2010, there are a lot of rumors, innuendo and speculation flying around as the clock comes within striking distance of midnight, maybe even more so than in previous years.
In particular, the quarterback position as it relates to Cleveland is a source of some serious overtime for the rumor mill machine. Here's some information on the quarterback situation we've gathered over the last 24 hours or so.
-- As has been reported on this site and other media outlets ad nauseam, there is very little chance of Derek Anderson being a member of the Cleveland Browns past the March 19th date his roster bonus is due. That being said, it's not likely the Browns will release Anderson in the immediate future as they attempt to work out a deal with another club that would at least give them a late-round pick in return. Don't hold your breath on that one as the market for DA is, shall we say, not exactly amongst the living right now. It could be ripe for a last-minute resuscitation, however, if Holmgren is successful in his attempt to prop up DA's value on the trade market.
-- Then, of course, there's everybody's favorite whipping boy/savior Brady Quinn. From all the reports that have suddenly turned up over the past 48 hours or so, the Notre Dame product might as well have his bags packed as his ticket out of Cleveland has been all but been punched. Hell, one "report" went so far as to very concretely state that not a single soul in the organization feels that Quinn is the short- or long-term answer.
Based on what we've been told, that couldn't be further from the truth. One unnamed member of the organization labeled the "no one feels Quinn is the answer" report as "a bunch of [very bad word] [bad word to most people]."
That's not to say that Quinn won't be traded at some point between now and the April draft, but it is saying that it's far from the lock that some have either intimated or outright stated.
-- Yes, the Browns have engaged in at least initial discussions – if you could even label them as in-depth as "discussions -- with the Philadelphia Eagles regarding Donovan McNabb. No, nothing of substance have come out of any of those talks. Yet.
As for McNabb's teammate, there seems to be very little chance according to the vast majority of league sources that Kevin Kolb will be dealt to the Browns or anyone else for that matter.
However, until the Browns acquire a quarterback, any quarterback, new general manager Tom Heckert's old team and their signal callers will continue to provide fodder for the rumor mill. And something tells us that there's a very good reason for that.
-- The name Jason Campbell has been attached to the Browns for quite some time by rumormongers all across the vast expanses of the Internet.
In talking to several people around the league, the only consensus on any connection between the current member of the Washington Redskins and the Browns is that there's no consensus. One source with ties to the Redskins is absolutely convinced the Browns will make a run at him, while at the other end of the spectrum another source steadfastly says that "there's no way in hell [Holmgren] would have an interest." Several other sources fall somewhere in between with a "yeah, they might be interested" stance.
One Browns source refused to confirm or deny either on or off the record that there will be an interest in the restricted free agent, so take that as you will.
In the end, Campbell seems to be somebody to keep an eye on, although personally we feel the "fit" is just not there in Cleveland.
-- Seneca Wallace? Not on the radar "at this time", although Mike Holmgren's familiarity with him stemming from the new president's time with the Seattle Seahawks makes it likely that you could/should never push him out of the picture.
-- Speaking of Holmgren connections, Matt Hasslebeck's name has come up as well. We've been told a trade for the veteran is "neither improbable nor probable." In other words, it's something that's been discussed and could gain steam.
It's been intimated by some around the league that Hasselbeck could be a "fallback option" for both Seattle and the Browns depending on how the draft plays out. We feel, however, that it could be something that happens sooner rather than later if it's going to happen.
-- Chad Pennington? If he does not re-sign with the Miami Dolphins, he's someone "that will be of interest" to the Browns.
-- Tavaris Jackson? Have not heard his name connected one time to the Browns, even as a remote possibility.
-- Troy Smith? "Highly, highly unlikely."
-- Brett Favre? "Please" [That was me quoting myself.]
-- Charlie Frye? Just tossed that one in there to see if you were still awake.
In the end, nobody knows exactly what the Browns will or won't do at the position. Quite possibly, even the Browns themselves don't know precisely what they want to transpire lover the next month and a half.
One thing is certain, and it's something we've been saying since before the end of the season: the landscape of the position will look much, much different at the start of the 2010 season than it did at the start of 2009.
We just simply don't know who the new player(s) in the seemingly never-ending soap opera at the position will be once the music stops.