There’s nothing like a little success to screw things up.
The Cleveland Browns, to the surprise of everyone, find themselves sitting at 5-3 heading into their game with
Instead, I refer to other crazy talk, particularly that surrounding the suddenly emerging problem of what to do with Brady Quinn. The answer of course is nothing.
On these pages here and elsewhere, the specter of having two young quarterbacks with talent is a submarine controversy that begs for resolution, if not now then soon for no better reason than the fact that some people can’t stand a little uncertainty. Admittedly, given Derek Anderson’s play during the first half of this season (emphasis on the first half), a situation is developing that is arguably similar to that which the San Diego Chargers faced a few years ago when they traded their first round pick, Eli Manning, to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers and a handful of draft choices, only to see Drew Brees emerge as a legitimate NFL starter.
There is a column this week in Pro Football Weekly by Matt Sohn suggesting that the Browns trade Quinn if not now then as soon as the season wraps, in order to recoup first-round value. According to Sohn, at that point Quinn will still have enough mystique, coupled with a year in the NFL observing from the sidelines, to make him a more attractive acquisition for a quarterback-starved team than spending a first round pick on college players like BC’s Matt Ryan, Louisville’s Brian Brohm or Kentucky’s Andre Woodson.
There is probably some logic in that, but only in the sense that Quinn was a legitimate first round pick this past season and is probably a better prospect than any of those three anyway, even if he were in the same draft class. There is probably some logic, too, in the notion that trading Quinn gives the Browns the opportunity to recoup the first round pick they spent to get him in the first place.
But either of those are only points in what is surely a healthy point/counterpoint argument. What doesn’t seem to get mentioned these days in this debate are some of the more obvious arguments against trading Quinn now or anytime soon, and by anytime I mean even going into next season.
In the first place, as well as
Mitchell led the Dolphins to a 9-7 record, but missed the playoffs due mostly to a late-season collapse that saw the team lose their last five games. But prior to that collapse, Mitchell was certainly the feel-good story of the league even to the point where some were speculating that perhaps the Dolphins should re-sign Mitchell and let Marino, who was already in his 11th season, finish his career elsewhere. Again, sound familiar?
But Dolphins head coach Don Shula didn’t get to the Hall of Fame by being stupid or getting carried away by fool’s gold. He rightly surmised that Marino had some gas left in the tank. Marino returned the following season and all he did was earn another Pro Bowl berth. In fact, Marino played for another five seasons thereafter.
As for Mitchell, he did the whole star-turn thing by exploiting his free agency status in the off-season. The Detroit Lions bit and signed Mitchell. By Lions standards, it wasn’t a disastrous signing by any stretch, but Mitchell proved merely serviceable, not phenomenal. His best year was 1995 when he led the Lions to the playoffs, aided greatly by an offense that featured Barry Sanders and Herman Moore. Still, Mitchell was a big part of the story completing 59% of his passes for 4338 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. It sounds like the kind of season
The rest of the story with Mitchell is that his career was basically average, at best. Other than the two breakout seasons, 1993 and 1995, there isn’t much to distinguish him from any other quarterback who has kicked around the league for 10 years. In fact, he really only was a starter for four seasons, one of which was due to the aforementioned Marino injury. After being replaced by Charlie Batch (another mediocre quarterback) in 1998, he spent one season in
This isn’t to necessarily suggest that
All this really does is underscore that even assuming
Undoubtedly, GM Phil Savage probably wishes now that
The question facing Savage is thus the same that faced by the Dolphins. When Savage drafted Quinn he did so believing that Quinn was a better long-term prospect than anyone else on the roster, and that included