The Cleveland Browns got their man for head coach, Eric Mangini. The bigger problem that lays ahead now is who is Mangini’s man at quarterback. At the end of the season, Romeo Crennel said Brady Quinn would be his starting quarterback in 2009. Well Crennel was fired, there is a new coach and that changes things. Mangini so far has been very noncommittal on whom his choice is (the other is Derek Anderson), and rightfully so as there is some major money on the line. Thanks to former General Manager Phil Savage the team is handcuffed and pretty much locked in too two quarterbacks. How do they choose who starts? Who do they try to trade? It gets complicated so let’s look.
Mangini told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “You have to be able to assess what they can do physically, you have to get to know what their huddle presence is like, how they are mentally, the decision-making process. And that’s not something that you just do right away, not something that necessarily happens quickly. You go through a process and you make a decision when you feel it’s right. You just know.”
That would make one think that Mangini wants to wait out the mini-camps at least. You know see both guys in action and see what they can do in whatever offense he implements. That’s what you’d think at least. But it’s not even that simple as money is playing a huge role in the decision.
Both Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson have huge contracts, that much is known to all. Most people, especially Browns fans, that Anderson will be released before his $5 million roster bonus becomes guaranteed in March. Well guess what? That roster bonus is already guaranteed. Yea it’s true, if the Browns cut him before March they are still on the hook for his bonus. It’s a huge poison pill as this is usually not the case in roster bonuses. So the thinking most of us would have is this, trade him. Right sounds simple enough?
The problem there is his roster bonus is STILL guaranteed if he’s traded. While the Browns would not be on the hook for the money, the team that acquires him would be. This seriously damages Anderson’s trade value. The Browns would one have to find a team with plenty of cap room, and a team that would still be willing to pay a good amount in draft picks to make Mangini want to trade his QB. Unfortunately, there won’t be too many teams wanting to do that. One compromise could be paying part of that roster guarantee to the acquiring team, but that’s another story for another day if they do try to trade.
What teams would have cap room and a need at quarterback? Let’s look for fun, completely hypothetical right now.
Detroit Lions – The Lions have a huge need at quarterback. We all saw the nightmare they had this past season in going 0-16. They had no one in the huddle they can trust. Throw a competent QB in there and they’d win at least 3 games that much is for sure. The Lions are currently projected at $28 million under the cap but that number could grow exponentially with a few releases, which we all know are coming (Duante Culpepper, Leigh Bodden and others). So yea, the Lions have a hugggee amount of money and a definite need at quarterback. They need many other things but who knows maybe the Browns would take less picks if they ate the whole bonus.
Rest of NFC Central – Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears mainly. Both teams have huge question marks at quarterback with Tarvaris Jackson and Kyle Orton. Both teams will also have $20+ in salary cap space to burn. So let the speculation begin.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs are going to have even more money to spend. We also know they have a dire need at quarterback after the Tyler Thigpen experience. With a new general manager in Scott Pioli there are going to be major changes. He knows talent and will want a QB there who can handle whatever system his new head coach will use. I’d expect the Chiefs to make a play if Anderson is indeed on the block.
There are other teams but these are the first few that came to mind. Personally, I don’t think this situation will get solved anytime soon. It’s going to head to at least mini-camps as the money is just going to be to much to work around especially without a general manager in place. In the end I believe Brady Quinn will be the starter, the question will just be is Derek Anderson on the roster.
So with that being said all you Browns fans need to sit back, grab some tissues cause you’re going to have at least a few months of misery. You know wondering what the hell is going on with your franchise.
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