There has been speculation for quite some time that the Cleveland Browns would trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, who will enter the third season of his career as Tom Brady‘s backup. These rumors were spurned by the Browns hiring of Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Lombardi, formerly the Oakland Raiders GM and NFL Network analyst.
Lombardi rated Mallett as his highest quarterback on his board in the 2011 NFL Draft, ahead of the likes of Jake Lockers, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, and Christian Ponder. So yeah, Lombardi is really high on Mallett, and that was the main discussion spurning the talk that the Browns would pursue Mallett this offseason. They are still more than willing to add a new quarterback to push Brandon Weeden in training camp, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Browns are not expected to go after Ryan Mallett.
Mary Kay Cabot does view quarterback as a need for the Browns and calls Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, and Michael Vick the “big-names” on the market this offseason. She implies that Smith will be too difficult for the Browns to get due to the number of teams set to go after him, and she writes that the Browns will most likely not add Vick. So, based on this piece, it looks like Flynn is the most likely option of the upper-tier guys for the Browns. As Cabot writes, there is basically no chance of the Browns poaching AFC North quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason.
The Cleveland Browns could get a former New England Patriots backup quarterback, though, as Cabot lists Brian Hoyer among the second-tier free agents. Unproven but intriguing New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel is the other QB she lists. Daniel was better than Blaine Gabbert in college (even though he came before Gabbert at Missouri), but the Browns need to go after someone a little bit better than Daniel and Hoyer. I’m surprised Cabot didn’t list Matt Moore in there as an option for the Browns, but that might be because the Browns either don’t like them or she doesn’t view him as a viable candidate or fit. Or she was just throwing out names and forgot, but the point remains that Patriots fans shouldn’t expect Mallett to go to Cleveland. There’s a greater chance of Hoyer heading to the state of Ohio.
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