Sport Browns weigh QB options with top pick in hand

04:35  03 january  2017
04:35  03 january  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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Another offseason brings another round of quarterback questions for the Cleveland Browns.

After starting three different quarterbacks during the team’s 1-15 season, the Browns still don’t know who their quarterback of the future is, general manager Sashi Brown said Monday afternoon.

“We haven’t established the guy at that position so we’re going to look at all options,” Brown said. “We know that we need better from that position.”

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The Browns will enter the draft with a pair of first-round picks that could be packaged in an effort to get Mariota, if the Browns decide to make a move up. Just me, but have a feeling at least 12-14 other teams are also exploring all options at QB too…

That leaves all options on the table for the Browns when it comes to quarterbacks – from selecting one with the first pick in the draft in April to signing another veteran or moving forward with one of the Browns’ current options, including Robert Griffin III.

Head coach Hue Jackson, who was retained after his first season in Cleveland, will play a large role in the Browns’ search for a quarterback.

That includes making a decision about Griffin’s future. He is due a $750,000 roster bonus if he remains on the team on March 11, and would make $6 million in salary plus $750,000 in per-game bonuses if he’s the Browns’ quarterback next year.

Griffin started five games this season. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 1 and was not cleared to return until Dec. 11. He was the Browns’ starter in their only win against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 24. He completed 59% of his passes and threw for 886 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

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“I am grateful for the guys in the locker room helping me get to the point where I could play at a high level. You walk away and you to say, ‘Let God take care of the rest.’ It is out of my hands now,” Griffin told reporters on Monday. “There is nothing I can do from this point forward. Just know I want to be here. I want to be here with these guys and turn this thing around.”

Brown said his staff is now focused on the draft, and said the team will thoroughly vet the eligible quarterbacks to see if there is one worth drafting at No. 1. He said it was “too early” to know if there are any franchise quarterbacks in this draft class.

The Browns have drafted four quarterbacks in the first round since 1999, most recently Johnny Manziel at No. 22 in 2014. The last time the Browns had the first overall pick (2000), the team selected defensive end Courtney Brown.

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

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