Cleveland Browns Should Not Pursue Marcus Mariota


It’s the final week of lead up to the NFL Draft, which will begin in Chicago starting this Thursday.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has been the most-speculated about player of the draft season. There are numerous scenarios in which he could wind up a Cleveland Brown – they all occur with the Browns packaging their two first round picks (and more) to one of a variety of trade partners.

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I hope the Browns don’t do it. The cost is too high. It won’t cost just those picks but possibly a host of picks for years to come. And it won’t be the cure-all it seems.

Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer talks about the many difficulties rookie quarterbacks often face their first year in the league. He points out that the challenges faced by Johnny Manziel are exactly the same ones Marcus Mariota would face if he comes to Cleveland (for the most part). And clubs are too quick to knee-jerk and make poor decision when it comes to managing these young players.

Pluto writes, “So the NFL is at the point where more patience than ever is needed, yet rookies are often forced to play because teams are desperate to solve their quarterback problems.” This problem more than any other because solving the quarterback problem usually always translates to solving your overall winning problem.

The Browns can talk about quarterback problems more than any other team in the league. No other club has played more different people at the position in the last twenty years.

As Pluto points out, “the team that takes Mariota will need to be patient. Yes, he has pro size at 6-4, 222 pounds. He’s pretty mobile and very bright. But the offense will be all new to him.”

With Josh McCown on the roster, there is some modicum of patience that can be exacted. But it’s still not a perfect fit. You want to bring your offense in line with Mariota’s skills, not try to stuff him into a pocket-passer’s mold. That hasn’t worked for Robert Griffin III and it ruins some of the things that make Mariota unique.

Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles, long rumored to be the biggest suitor for Marcus’ services, are his best fit and the Browns could reap a windfall if they can deal with them. But Nick Foles was a more attractive quarterback to trade for than oft-injured Sam Bradford. It looks like the window for that opportunity may be gone – unless the trade involves Johnny Manziel as well.

Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation collected a series of rumors that suggest a convoluted scheme might exist by which Mariota and Manziel are both part of a deal between the Eagles, Titans and Browns. Sam Bradford would end up coming to the Browns in this scenario. And the Eagles might wind up with both Manziel and Mariota.

But I hope that the Browns can step back out of this type of mess and focus on what they have in front of them – which is two first round picks in a draft full of talent, just not at the quarterback position.

It’s not the only need the Browns have. Why not plug some of those other holes while selecting a second tier quarterback and see if you can make something of him?

Pluto points out that Garrett Grayson from Colorado State has been worked out by the franchise. This week we reviewed the 30 Best Draft Picks ever. Tom Brady and Joe Montana were both part of that list. It’s entirely possible to pick up a franchise quaterback in the later rounds.

But the team needs to have patience to develop that player.

This is the year to exercise that patience.

Next: Should Eagles Make the Trade for Mariota?

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