The Tennessee Titans must be loving this. Since it’s been a couple of weeks since they were rumored to be trading their second overall pick (and the presumptive rights to draft Marcus Mariota) to the San Diego Chargers for a package centered on Philip Rivers, it was high time some new gossip got out to drive some uncertainty into the process. And right on cue, here comes ESPN’s Cleveland Browns beat reporter Pat McManamon to fan the flames:
My initial reaction to this news was “LOL Browns,” as I’m sure was true for many others. Even though they drafted Johnny Manziel in the first round last year, his on- and off-field troubles have many people writing him off entirely. But seriously, Cleveland? Trading up for a chance to draft their third first-round quarterback in four years, no matter how much better he looks than your last two prospects, reflects a complete unwillingness to learn from one’s mistakes. So, it sounds about right.
Once more, this is not anywhere near reliable information. It’s a matter of course for loads of misinformation to be dumped via the press in the lead-up to the draft as a ploy to gain leverage. The Browns have the 12th and 19th overall picks in this year’s draft, and McManamon reports those would go to Tennessee at the very least. But the precedent set by the Robert Griffin III trade dictates that Cleveland will need to throw in at least one more valuable asset. And of course, there’s the requisite public denial in play:
It would be fitting in many ways for the Browns to give up on a quarterback they drafted in the first round after five career games and one rehab stint, only to trade up for another quarterback the next year (at a very high cost). It probably won’t happen, but it would surprise no one if it did. And the countdown for a rumored Chip Kelly offer continues.