Browns HC Mike Pettine said Wednesday they’re approaching free agency and the draft as though Johnny Manziel is not their starting quarterback.
Pettine also mentioned that he visited Manziel, who checked himself into a rehab clinic after the season.
“I just wanted to go visit him and see how he’s doing and let him know that we’re proud of him for the decision he made to go in and obviously he has our full support,” Pettine said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “…He’s in a much better place now than he was before he went in and he’s very determined to come out of it in a much better way.”
There has been a lot of buzz that the Browns could consider trading up for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
In fact, the Browns new quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell has been working Mariota in preparation for the Combine for weeks now.
On top of that, the Browns have the draft picks to pull off a trade up the board for Mariota, seeing as they have No. 12 and No. 19 overall at their disposal.
Jason Cole previous reported that that the Browns are expected to seriously consider trading up for a quarterback in this year’s draft, even though they spent a first-round pick on Manziel just a year ago.
According to Cole, Cleveland has already been weighing the idea because they like Mariota “so much” and FSU QB Jameis Winston “too a lessor degree.”
Cole mentions that the belief within the Browns is that must find a true franchise quarterback, and there are already doubts about whether Manziel will ever be that type of player.
Given the issues with Manziel and Josh Gordon, Cole mentions that there is a “tremendous amount of fear” for their future, which is why they are giving strong consideration to the idea of trading up for one of the top two quarterback prospects.
Assuming the Buccaneers take either Mariota or Winston at No. 1 overall, the Titans would be in a perfect position to auction off the No. 2 overall pick.
This will definitely be an interesting situation to watch in the coming months.