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fansince62

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ok...so we're all playing soapbox GMs. it's early in the process so I advance these thoughts with the usual caveats. it's incomplete and there are flaws, no doubt, but I think we are boxed in.

1) The obvious/my deeply flawed opinions

- we need a franchise QB

- there are ONLY two bona fide QBs in this draft...the other QBs are dregs who wouldn't be in the conversation had not Landry and Barkley decided they just had to have another year working their craft at the collegiate level

- there isn't much in the way of FA QBs (in the sense of breadth or depth). There's Manning and Flynn. All other options are placeholders...more of the same (if you know what I mean).

- our QB draft options ultimately turn on what the Browns decide.

2) Assumptions

- the Browns trade with St Louis to draft RGIII

- the Colts are gonna draft Luck

- generally (not always) it takes 2-3 years to mature a QB into a player who recognizes and correctly decides at the speed of the game. generally (not always) that is more so the case as a team is forced to draft QBs lower in the draft (i.e.,. the "needs development" types)

- the Skins are willing to pay a high price for RGIII...but they are not going to sacrifice the farm

- we do not have the capital to win a bidding war with the Browns

- after watching Luck and RGIII...in my mind (conceding I am not a professional evaluator)...these guys are the real deal and have FUTURE STARs written all over them.

3) Where does that leave the Skins/us?

- we draft a future pro bowler (most likely a defensive player IMO) somewhere in the first round (either at six or tradedown)

- the Skins continue to improve the athleticism, speed and youth on the roster

- we are forced to decide whether or not to bet the farm in next year's draft on a QB

- we continue to selectively add FA talent that also improves the overall talent/athleticism on the team

- this team, in short, is going to get better

4) Screw-ups (a euphemism)

- I don't think we all fully understand how profoundly this FO has screwed up it's QB decisions the last two years. while there may be extenuating circumstances, limited opportunities, etc., etc., the fundamental reality is that at the one position that matters most (especially in a division where all the other teams have capable to pro bowl quality QBs)...not only have they hosed it up...but they have likely set the team back at least another 3-5 years because of the bad decisions or bad luck (take your pick).

5) Some conclusions

- no matter how much we improve the surrounding talent we will never advance beyond an 8-8/9-7 team IMO. we may get into a playoffs or two...even win a playoff game.....but no way...IMO...do we ever get to the championship level. NOT WITHOUT A TOP FLIGHT QB.

- if one accepts that that the Browns are gonna do the deal to get RGIII, then the Skins/we have three options THIS YEAR (or combinations thereof): sign an FA QB, draft one of the dregs and hope one of these really inspires no one QBs somehow magically becomes "the ONE", stick with what we have.

- FAs we already know: Manning, Flynn, Orton. From what we've read (could be disinformation), the Skins aren't looking at Flynn. IMO that leaves only Manning (assuming he passes the health check). Orton would be an automatic 4-5 losses while he learns the system - the Shanallens have gone down this road TWICE now (would they really be DUMB enough to do it AGAIN?). Their priority has to be a healthy Manning.

- Drafting Weden, Tannehill, etc., would be a wasted pick IMO. DOn't draft unknown crappola/development projects. They've already wasted two years.....don't slide the program to the right another 2-3 years with high uncertainty. get value at the #2 pick that CAN PLAY IMMEDIATELY.

- Sticking with what we have. I don't know if I would even watch anymore were Rex under center. but I can see how things are lining up in that direction simply as a function of the environment.

What do I think will happen? well.....I think we don't sign Manning and aren't interested in Flynn, the Browns move up for RGIII, we stick at 6 and take a player like Claiborne and draft a QB in the second round (not syaing we should....but that's what they'll do). Rex starts the season (Beck is let go), we play a lotta close games, believe in the non-sense that "we can win with Rex...he just needs a great supporting cast")...and we're sitting here next year at draft position 12 to 15 speculating on how much of the farm we should sell for Barkley (meaning we don't see a true championship caliber team until somewhere around 2015 to 2016).

we really, really, really screwed up with horrible QB decisions these last two years. we're gonna have to ride the running game even more than some think and...despite the evident need to elevate the talent level on offense...events are gonna force a strategy where building a championship caliber defense matters more cuz of the QB limitations.

anywho......it'll probably be a totally different storyboard post draft!!!! but that's how I see things lining up right now.
 

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Goaldeje

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Ya know, Al, I may just have to agree with you. We are in a really difficult position with our needs, and got inadvertantly screwed by Landry and Barkley staying in school. If Cleveland ends up wanting RGIII, there is not going to be anything we can offer that can top their offer, because of that second first round pick this year. That puppy trumps us. If the Browns waver or blink, we would be the best positioned to swoop in and take him, but that's a big "if". Holmgren's not stupid.

Our prayer has to be that Holmgren falls in love with Richardson (or someone else) and decides to repeat history by snatching another backup Packers QB in Flynn. If that happens, we are in the driver's seat.
 

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Too depressing to think about. If this happens as you suggest, and we suffer through another losing season, then I believe you have to run Shanny out of town.

I also still expect Eddie Royal here this year, possibly to replace Banks.
 
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fansince62

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Ya know, Al, I may just have to agree with you. We are in a really difficult position with our needs, and got inadvertantly screwed by Landry and Barkley staying in school. If Cleveland ends up wanting RGIII, there is not going to be anything we can offer that can top their offer, because of that second first round pick this year. That puppy trumps us. If the Browns waver or blink, we would be the best positioned to swoop in and take him, but that's a big "if". Holmgren's not stupid.

Our prayer has to be that Holmgren falls in love with Richardson (or someone else) and decides to repeat history by snatching another backup Packers QB in Flynn. If that happens, we are in the driver's seat.
I agree 100%!!!!
 

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The argument I would make with your logic Al is that if we absolutely positively have to have a top flight QB in order to succeed in this league we have to take a chance on one of the second tier guys in this draft. Bottom line: You can't win if you don't play. Right now our biggest hole, by far, is at QB. We have to at least attempt to fill that. As you say, we do risk sliding the program back a few years if the pick doesn't work out, but, as you also say, we slide another two years no matter what if we don't get a QB this year. So take a chance.

All that said, I agree that we all need to pray, and pray hard, that the Browns go another direction.
 

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The picture painted in this post really highlights how costly winning games at New York and Seattle late in the year were for this team. I can't say it enough how much winning those meaningless games have handcuffed this team going into the draft, especially considering how dire the situation is at QB in Washington, and what there is to choose at that position high up in the draft.

This team's hands really are tied.

At this point, considering the slim pickings in FA at QB, and the price it will likely cost to grab Griffin, I'm becoming more comfortable with a draft strategy similar to a year ago, where the club acquires additional picks, and drafts carefully at positions of need with high character players. The one difference being that in the process, I would actually take a QB on day two of the draft this time around. I get the argument about us needing a top-flight QB, and not dabbling and wasting our time with second rate talent - we've been down that road before with the likes of Campbell, Ramsey, etc. However, at the very least it gives us an alternative to Rex that isn't recycled or highly risky material (e.g. Orton/Manning). In the process, it allows an opportunity to fill out many other areas of need throughout the roster via the draft. Let's not deny it, there are a lot of them. We can see what a Weeden, etc. can offer without paying a high price, and it certainly wouldn't limit us from turning around a year from now and taking a QB high in the draft (e.g. Barkley, Jones, whomever) if the guy selected doesn't show much promise.

There were many who acknowledged a year ago that Allen/Shannahan got it right in their draft approach. Many of us were very realistic when we said that this club would likely need TWO years of implementing that same draft strategy to ensure long term stability for the franchise. Griffin, while I would love to have him wearing our colours, would undoubtedly prevent that same draft strategy from happening. Call me crazy for believing that you should not move up in the draft at all costs for a potential franchise quarterback. Maybe I'm just outdated and trained to believe that you CAN win without megastars at the position, (e.g. Ryp and Williams), who are surrounded with solid talent throughout the rest of the roster.

At the end of the day, I still believe that with Griffin, Manning, whomever is behind center, this team is still two seasons away from positioning itself to compete year in and year out within the NFC East. With that being said, as hard as it may seem, I think we really have to stay the course and let the draft come to us and not press.
 

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CH,

Losing to Seattle and New York would have us drafting 3rd. Since the general consensus here is that a) only the teams drafting 1st and 2nd are guaranteed to get a top-flight QB and b) the Browns with an extra first round pick can jump into that #2 spot ahead of anyone else in the draft if they so choose, and if c) your favored draft strategy is to not trade up in order to get Griffin, then the difference between drafting 3rd and 6th is negligible.

Personally, if the Browns go for Flynn I would be ok trading an extra 1st and 2nd for Griffin. Unlike previous drafts, we are going into this draft with extra picks already, so we can still go for quantity after trading up for Griffin's quality. If Griffin is gone, I do favor getting SOMEONE at QB. We have to have at least a shot at a future QB, even if it's not a guarantee at this point. Two years with no hope at that position is long enough.
 

fansince62

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The argument I would make with your logic Al is that if we absolutely positively have to have a top flight QB in order to succeed in this league we have to take a chance on one of the second tier guys in this draft. Bottom line: You can't win if you don't play. Right now our biggest hole, by far, is at QB. We have to at least attempt to fill that. As you say, we do risk sliding the program back a few years if the pick doesn't work out, but, as you also say, we slide another two years no matter what if we don't get a QB this year. So take a chance.

All that said, I agree that we all need to pray, and pray hard, that the Browns go another direction.

which is why I think they will either move up into the late 1sr rnd or stay put and draft QB in the second. I just don't happen to think any of the options after Luck and RGIII have potential beyond capable NFL back-up. They wouldn't even be in the conversation (we'd be feeling sorry for other teams) had Jones and Barkley thrown their hats in the draft ring.

given the QB track record of this staff.....I think the high probability path is that we draft our franchise QB in 2013 and have to wait until 2016 to compete with the elites. we will definitely get better...even have one of those luck out seasons where the ball always bounces the right way and we end up 10-6. but I just see teams with mediocre QBs losing in the playoffs more often than not - the elite teams will know what to exploit and QB just isn't a position you want exposed.
 

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Nice write up FS62. Since the waters are already muddy I thought I might as well muddy them up some more. Here’s the bottom line as I see it: If Shanahan can’t find a QB this offseason he’s out of here after next season and he knows it. Is Bruce Allen’s job safe? I don’t know.

With that in mind our QB next season is going to be a healthy Peyton Manning or RGIII, regardless of what it will cost to move up. As unreasonable as that might sound on the surface it’s the only scenario where Shanahan keeps his job. Any other QB scenario I can think of, that doesn’t include some minor miracle, will guarantee this team finishes no better than 8-8 and we can start looking for a new QB AND a new head coach as soon as the regular season ends.

Let’s say I’m wrong and we fill holes in this draft and Rex (or one of the other fill ins) ends up as our QB next season. Even in the worst case we’d probably with 5 games. That would probably put us in a worse position to draft a QB next year than we are this year. “Wizards Disease” as Bulldog put it; bad, but not bad enough to get the high enough pick we most likely need to get our QB.
 

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I agree with everyone for the most part. I think the plan is to talk with the Rams and see if we are speaking the same language on trading up for RGIII. If not Peyton will be our target. If we don't land Manning then maybe we offer more for RGIII. If not we might just stick it out with Orton, who I believe will be a target in free agency. I am not buying Tannehill or Osweiler due to where we would have to draft them. Less than twenty starts each and Tannehill will be a mid first round pick and Osweiler will probably be an early second. The only way I see us drafting a QB other than Griffin is if one becomes a value later in the draft. I for one like Kurt Cousins, could he slip in the draft due to one reason or another?

I think we are three possibilities at QB in 2012, Peyton, RGIII or Orton.
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We're in a tough spot as far as strategy goes on this, but I think we might just end up doing ok in spite of ourselves. We're really due for something to fall into our lap, and I think this just might be the perfect situation for that to happen.

A guy on the radio down here was talking about a scenario that would have us landing Manning and RG3, and while I laughed hysterically at first, his argument made perfect sense.

For the first time ever, we have room to work with under the cap. We also have a good spot to pick in, which would work great for a trade up. Additionally, the Rams will have a pretty low asking price for that number 2 pick, because everybody and their brother knows they aren't drafting a QB. If they ask for the world in exchange for the pick, teams will look to the Vikings in the 3 spot to get a better deal, and the Rams will lose out. All of this benefits us, we are sitting in the best position we have been in since who knows when. This might work out really well for us.
 

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Additionally, the Rams will have a pretty low asking price for that number 2 pick, because everybody and their brother knows they aren't drafting a QB. If they ask for the world in exchange for the pick, teams will look to the Vikings in the 3 spot to get a better deal, and the Rams will lose out. All of this benefits us, we are sitting in the best position we have been in since who knows when. This might work out really well for us.
I highly doubt this happens. First, the Browns have their shot. After the Browns, there are still many teams that might pull an Atlanta--for--Julio Jones type of deal, where they offer the world to get RG3. Seattle comes to mind.

I believe whoever gets RG3 is going to have to pay through the nose for him. I still think it's going to take close to three firsts, or two firsts and an Orakpo kind of deal to land him.
 

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The Browns have the edge with picks THIS year, but there's nothing to keep the Redskins from trumping them with a wealth of future picks. If the Redskins want RGIII bad enough, I think you all are wrong they'll be outbid.
 

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Boone, all due respect, but you're wrong. How much WE want RGIII is not important. What is important is how much the Browns want him, precisely because of that second first round pick this year. They can trump ANYTHING we offer with that extra pick. If they want him more than we do, they will get him, no matter what we offer.
 

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Not necessarily. There's no limitation on what future picks we can offer them Goal. We could offer them every 2013 draft pick we have if that's what we wanted to do. You all are assuming that the only 1st round draft pick St. Louis cares about are one's in this year's draft. You telling me that if we offered our 1st rounder in the next 3 drafts, that St. Louis won't be interested? How about our 1st for the next 5 drafts?

Obviously, we aren't going to go that crazy. But the point is, if we want RGIII bad enough, we can compete with anything the Browns throw out there.
 

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No, I understand. What I'm saying is that if we offered our next five first round picks, the Browns could still trump us by offering their next five first rounders, plus the extra one they have this year. A good negotiator will always play both sides against each other, which you'd expect the Rams to do. No matter what we offer, the Browns can do one better because of that extra first rounder.

It's going to come down to how much the Browns want RGIII.
 

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I understand the idea that the Browns having the extra pick really doesn't mean anything due to the fact that we can always just offer more. The fact is that it really does depend on who wants him more. That being said I just don't think that Shanahan and Allen are going to be willing to give as much as the Browns.
 

Goaldeje

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I understand the idea that the Browns having the extra pick really doesn't mean anything due to the fact that we can always just offer more. The fact is that it really does depend on who wants him more. That being said I just don't think that Shanahan and Allen are going to be willing to give as much as the Browns.
Disagree. Holmgren has always had success with QB trades rather than high draft picks. I suspect he will make a play for Flynn and use their pick for the Browns many other needs.

Having said that, they can offer more than anyone else. I just don't think they will.
 

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No, I understand. What I'm saying is that if we offered our next five first round picks, the Browns could still trump us by offering their next five first rounders, plus the extra one they have this year. A good negotiator will always play both sides against each other, which you'd expect the Rams to do. No matter what we offer, the Browns can do one better because of that extra first rounder.

It's going to come down to how much the Browns want RGIII.
We can match/exceed anything they offer - as long as it's a future pick. That's just a fact. You're right - it will come down to who wants him more - but it's not just what the Browns decide he's worth that matters. I think the other two factors we're ignoring are players we might throw in to sweeten the deal (the Rams could be looking for help in an area where we can help them more than the Browns can), as well as the relationships the front offices involved have with each other. Friendships run deep in the NFL and sometimes teams are just more interested in dealing with some teams vs. others. Not saying that is a powerful influence on draft trades, but it's certainly another factor.
 

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Disagree. Holmgren has always had success with QB trades rather than high draft picks. I suspect he will make a play for Flynn and use their pick for the Browns many other needs.

Having said that, they can offer more than anyone else. I just don't think they will.
The Browns second first round pick this year is in the 20's. The Rams would rather have another early first round pick. If they feel like we will suck again next year they might believe that our pick next year might be higher than a pick in the 20's this year.

The fact is the Browns have to actually land Flynn to be out of the running for RGIII. If you were Matt Flynn would you go the Cleveland? Don't get me wrong I would love for Cleveland to sign Griffin but I think Flynn will have two or three options and Cleveland will be at the bottom of his list.
 

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