Jason Cole, citing multiple NFL sources, reports that the Browns are the hottest team after a quarterback this offseason and are willing to look to the trade market to upgrade at the position.
According to Cole, Rams QB Sam Bradford is at the top of the Browns’ list of potential quarterbacks.
Cole adds that if the Browns have a chance to get Bradford in return for a relatively cheap trade such as a second or third round pick, they will make a run at him.
However, Cole doesn’t think Bradford would have any interest in being traded. Instead, Bradford would likely ask to be released outright so he can sign with a team of his choosing or try to work out an extension with the Rams.
Cleveland also has “some interest” in veteran QB Josh McCown, so he could be their fall option.
Previous reports have said that the Rams would prefer to keep Bradford, rather than trade him away, so there appears to be at least a chance that they could agree to an extension or a reworked deal in the coming months.
Bradford stands to make a $12.985 million base salary for the 2015 season, which means a restructured deal would reduce that figure while offering him the ability to recoup the saving through incentives.
For what it’s worth, the Rams would free up $12.985 million by releasing Bradford outright. This would also create $3.595 million in dead money, but the cap saving would easily be enough to justify such as move.
Bradford, 27, has yet to live up to his draft status and is now coming off of back-to-back ACL tears, so there are some real concerns about him moving forward.
Bradford last appeared in an NFL game during the 2013 season. He finished the year throwing for 1,687 yards while completing 60.7 percent of his passes to go along with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions over the course of seven games.
This remains one of the more interesting negotiations to watch in the coming weeks.