Around the NFL  

 

Browns 'actively shopping' No. 2; Eagles interested?

Print

Last week's blockbuster trade between the Rams and Titans vaulted Los Angeles into the pole position of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Rams will pick a quarterback at No. 1 -- that's a given -- but who they prefer between Cal's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz remains undetermined. Most believe it's Goff, but the Rams aren't telling.

Also unknown: What will the Browns do at No. 2?

Cleveland still needs a franchise quarterback -- that's been the case since Bill Clinton roamed the White House -- but the Browns don't appear sold on settling for the signal-caller who falls to them.

NFL Media's Jeff Darlington reported Tuesday that Cleveland's front office is working the phones ahead of next Thursday's first round, telling NFL HQ: "I spoke to at least one general manager in the top 10 who has received a call from Browns general manager Sashi Brown about trying to gauge interest on moving into that second-overall pick."

Darlington said the Browns are "actively shopping" the selection, with the Eagles operating as a potential buyer. Both teams "will be very patient about this situation," per Darlington, who doesn't "get the sense that anything is imminent."

ESPN's Adam Schefter later noted, through a Browns source, that "there is interest in the pick," but it remains "uncertain" whether Cleveland will trade down. If they do, the Eagles make sense after new coach Doug Pederson gushed over both Goff and Wentz on Monday.

"Pretty even in my opinion," Pederson said, per Philly.com. "From all the physical tools, both of them are extremely gifted there. Good arm strength, mobility. Obviously, Carson's a little bigger, maybe a little better athlete right now. But there's not much separating those two."

NFL Media columnist Michael Silver believes the Rams favor Goff. That wouldn't bother the Eagles, with Darlington noting that Pederson believes Wentz can become an "elite quarterback" at the NFL level. The Browns obviously feel differently, willing to pass on a position of dire need to accrue picks and begin their rebuild in earnest.

In Philly, adding Wentz would turn the quarterback room into a crowded house with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel also under contract. It's fair to wonder if one of those arms might be dealt if the franchise invests in a rookie. Teams like the Jets and 49ers might come calling for one of the veterans.

One sticking point for the Eagles: While they hold the eighth-overall pick, they lack a second-rounder and don't pick again until No. 77. They also hold an additional third-rounder (No. 79), a fourth (No. 100), two fifths, a sixth and a pair of seventh-rounders.

Of course, the Browns aren't the only team fielding calls from general managers ahead of the draft. The San Diego Chargers have received just as much interest as the Browns in their pick at No. 3 from franchises picking inside and just outside the top 10 in the draft, sources aware of the situation told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

If the Browns swap out of No. 2, reaction to such a deal is certain to put pressure on Cleveland's newfangled front office. While moving down makes sense for a team determined to build through the draft, Browns fans won't forget if the quarterback they could have taken becomes a star.

With Philly and Cleveland set to square off in Week 1, it's also possible that one of these prized rookie passers makes his first Eagles start against a Browns franchise that passed him by. Chalk it up as the first big test for a newbie front office with zero room for error.

Print

Fan Discussion