The NFL Draft is still seven weeks away, but given the track record of NFL teams falling head over heels in love with players coming out of the Combine, signs are pointing to what I’d consider a doomsday scenario for the Cleveland Browns:
Pursuing free agent AJ McCarron next week at the outset of free agency, and then not needing to draft a QB 1st, and settling for one of the 2nd/3rd tier guys such as Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, or Lamar Jackson.
• Happy Hue. This comes from an executive with a historically reliable ear to the ground: Cleveland, with four picks in the top 35 of the draft, is still exceedingly interested in signing free-agent quarterback A.J. McCarron after the trade-deadline-day debacle last fall … and then backstopping him with a rookie quarterback in the draft. I’m hearing that’s coach Hue Jackson’s preference, having coached McCarron in Cincinnati as Bengals offensive coordinator.
Increasingly, it looks like the Browns could open the season with AJ McCarron vs Deshone Kizer vs a rookie not named Darnold or Rosen to see who the starting QB is.
Hue Jackson is 1-31 in the last two seasons; McCarron isn’t going to get the Browns to flirt with .500, and I’m not sure how Jackson will remain employed. This will let new GM John Dorsey pick his own coach. Maybe that’s what he wants, anyway.
I’d say I feel bad for Hue Jackson, but he’s hard up for McCarron for reasons that only he knows.