The Cleveland Browns are under a new regime in owner Jimmy Haslam and this offseason the team has not been shy about throwing around the money and cap space it has, as they signed linebacker Paul Kruger to a large deal and also brought Desmond Bryant and running back Chris Ogbonnaya.
The team may not be done with personnel moves yet either, as ESPN.com is reporting that the team could trade for New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett to give second-year pro Brandon Weeden some competition. The report says that Haslam wants to bring in competition for Weeden and since he has not done anything yet, chances are he could be working on a trade. Another possibility could be New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who general manager Mike Lombardi has praised in the past, and now that he is released it could be a real option.
Deals for the quarterbacks could be possible due to relationships, including with Lombardi and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who have worked together in the past. A trade for Mallet could be mutually beneficial for the Browns and Patriots, as New England has Tom Brady as their quarterback and basically drafted Mallett for value in a moment like this. The Browns also have a number of defensive linemen after signing Bryant, and could trade one of them to the Patriots, who are weak at the position behind Vince Wilfork.
The ESPN report mentions that Tony Grossi of ESPN Radio in Cleveland said the addition of Bryant on a large contract could mean a trade of either Phil Taylor or Ahtyba Rubin in a deal for Mallett, who could provide a competitor for Weeden as well as younger quarterback to stay behind him if he falters. Weeden was a 27-year-old rookie, while Mallett is younger.
The quarterback market is dry for with Kevin Kolb and Ryan Fitzpatrick finding new teams. Tebow could be another interesting option for the Browns as a backup, as he could push Weeden and also give Cleveland the extra level that the Jets said they wanted when they traded him.
The Jets had issues with using Tebow, putting him on the field for 70 plays in which he gained 102 rushing yards and just 39 passing yards. The quarterback also could head to an Arena League team in Orlando, as Predators owner Brett Bouchy offered him a starting job if things don't work out in the NFL. Tebow was in the city running a training program for fans when the owner mentioned the job in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
Tebow was part of a crowded quarterback depth chart, as the Jets had Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy, David Garrard and Matt Simms. Cleveland ranked 19th in passing yards per game last season and new head coach Rod Chudzinski brought in Norv Turner to turn things around. Chudzinski worked with Cam Newton in Carolina and he could make Tebow into a productive quarterback if the team acquires him.
Lombardi could go after another receiver in free agency to help the low-ranked Browns offense, as the team could use to spread the field for Weeden and needs playmakers at nearly every position on offense. The team has a number of needs and could trade for a quarterback later or decide to sign someone after the draft like Tebow.