Norv Turner wanted Browns to sign Matt Cassel in 2013


Before drafting Johnny Manziel, the Browns were long whispered about as a potential suitor for New England Patriots passer Ryan Mallett.

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

Had play-caller Norv Turner had his way last season in Cleveland, though, the team would have made a deal for another former Tom Brady understudy: Matt Cassel.

"I think that would have been, at the time, a good move for us," said Turner. "I gave my evaluation (for the Browns to sign him). I thought he would have fit. ... Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't."

Now serving as coordinator for the Vikings, Turner has found his way to Cassel, who opted to re-sign with Minnesota largely because of Norv's reputation as a quarterback whisperer.

"I was excited when I heard that he was coming," Cassel said this week, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I was so excited about it, and now to be out here working with him, it's really been a great experience."

Cassel's career has spiraled, but he enjoyed a sprinkling of sneaky-good performances last season and looms as Minnesota's No. 1 passer heading into training camp.

Turner might struggle to look back fondly on last year's flameout in Cleveland, but his current one-two punch under center of Cassel and rookie Teddy Bridgewater is a potent upgrade to the gaggle of milquetoast passers he was handed with the Browns.

"You never know in this league," Cassel said.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the best receiver group in the NFL, and goes deep previewing the season with Bucky Brooks.