With three NFL games left in the season, the silly offseason is nearly upon us! You’ll get bold draft proclamations, because of course everyone is in-the-know. Curious free agent rumors will be floated … by agents looking to drive up interest in their player.
And then you get this beauty from the Browns (via ESPN.com):
The Browns will release Robert Griffin III and try to sign Tyrod Taylor. Griffin played better in his final two games, but didn’t do enough to warrant another year under Hue Jackson. Jackson will instead turn to Taylor, who protected the ball, stayed healthy and played better than he’s given credit for in Buffalo.
A month ago, the price for Jimmy Garoppolo was supposedly two draft picks – including a 1st rounder. Garoppolo has started two games in New England. That’s a high price.
Now, just two days after one of Tom Brady’s worst career playoff games, here comes ESPN floating the Browns passing entirely on Garoppolo for Tyrod Taylor. (To be clear, it’s a prediction. Informed opinion? Pure guesswork? You be the judge!)
Just when you think the Patriots are playing chess and the Browns are playing checkers, Cleveland totally redeems itself!
ESPN is correct about one thing – Tyrod Taylor was actually quite good this year. In his second year as a starter – he’s got a 39-game body of work – Taylor wasn’t the reason the Bills missed the playoffs and Rex Ryan got fired. Pro Football Focus had Taylor rated as the 10th best QB this past season.
The Browns have ample cap space. Hue Jackson has previously worked with the likes of Jason Campbell, Andy Dalton and whoever the five guys are the Browns had last year. There’s no steep learning curve with Taylor. He’d need a line and a receiver or two, but the Browns quietly had a good running game last year – 4.9 yards per carry, 2nd best in the NFL.
The real question is what the market would be for Taylor. The Bears, 49ers and Jets definitely need a QB heading into next season. I think you could get Taylor for cheaper than draft picks and the long term deal Garoppolo wants.