The Cleveland Browns still don’t have a head coach, but apparently the organization already has its sights set on a new quarterback.
According to CBS Sports, the Browns are “willing to trade up” in the NFL Draft to select Texas A&M Johnny Manziel. The report indicates team owner Jimmy Haslam is willing to take advantage of the team’s abundant cap space in order to try and win quickly.
The team owns the No. 4 and No. 26 picks in the first round and would seemingly have to prepare an offer to move into the No. 1, 2 or 3 spot to land the former Heisman Trophy winner. The St. Louis Rams have previously made it known they are shopping the second overall pick in May’s draft, and perhaps the Browns are the trading partner they have been looking for.
Manziel has surfaced as a legitimate player to go first overall to the Houston Texans along with Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and numerous mock drafts suggest they will be the first quarterbacks taken off the board.
The Browns started Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer under center this season. Campbell, 32, is a career journeyman since being drafted out of Auburn by the Washington Redskins in the 2005 draft. Weeden, 30, was selected by the Browns in the first round off the 2012 draft, and Hoyer made three of his four career starts this past year.
The Browns cleaned house after the regular season, firing first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski. And it seems as if the new coaching staff will have a new quarterback to start over with. Wide receiver Josh Gordon is a strong building block, too, but may be used as a trading chip should the Browns need to trade up to nab Manziel.
Of course, whomever the team hires to be its new head coach may have an influence on which quarterback the team selects.