Browns' options were always slim in search for QB, playmakers

The Ferraris left the lot long ago.

Teddy Bridgewater won't be around when you make your picks this time.

Only about 16 to 20 truly steady quarterback options exist in the NFL right now, and in the Browns' pursuit for a quarterback this offseason, maybe one of those 20 was available.


Whether Sam Bradford belongs in that category is questionable at best. He can't be counted on, until he can.

So what surfaced Tuesday online -- sparked by NFL Network's Charley Casserly, confirmed by ESPN's Adam Caplan -- re-ignites the notion the Cleveland Browns were always shopping in the bargain bin for a quarterback, and playmaking receivers, for that matter.

Both say the Browns offered one of their two first-round picks for Bradford, who was the only move that slightly resembled a stand-up double among available quarterback options this spring. Caplan says the Browns offered their No. 19 overall pick to St. Louis in exchange for Bradford.

The Browns' situation was always bleak; as if offering a first-rounder for a quarterback that hasn't played a fourth of his team's past two seasons.

Josh McCown, Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline -- all can slowly help the Browns' roster from where it was but they won't alter the landscape, won't bounce the team into contention.

Would Matt Cassel have been an upgrade from McCown? Cassel over Brian Hoyer? Hoyer over Mark Sanchez?

All former backups. The Browns had bridge options available to them, that's it. That's unless they are determined to make a play for Marcus Mariota, and even then, he's a spread quarterback who will need time.

Time the Browns don't have.

Nick Foles? Maybe. He's done some good things but is far from a sure bet. He's out of play now.

The moment the offseason hit, the Browns' options at quarterback and receiver were always limited. Ignoring Bridgewater and all-star receivers in last year's draft partly left them in the cumbersome spot.

That's why the Browns have good reason to at least be hopeful Johnny Manziel returns as a different guy, learns to be more accurate at the NFL level and eventually makes a push for the starting job.

Otherwise, McCown was and is the best option. The pool was lean. Why else would the Bills trade for Cassel?

Let's say it again: Apparently the Browns were giving up a 1 for a quarterback that's played seven of his team's last 32 games.

It's a sobering reminder how cold it is on these streets without a top-shelf player under center.

Even then, it's surprising the Rams wouldn't take that 1, even if they weren't getting a quarterback in return. Unless NFL first-round picks are devalued like NBA draft picks, logic says take the 1 in exchange for the hurt quarterback.

Doesn't add up. Maybe the Rams really love Foles.

Who do the Browns love?