INDIANAPOLIS -- Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown jokingly accused a reporter Wednesday of asking a "backdoor Garoppolo" question during his media session here at the combine. This came after several other (failed) attempts at prodding the team's head decision-maker about potentially dealing for the Patriots' backup.
As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday, the Patriotsare not inclined to deal their potential star backup and will likely hold on to him. Whether or not the development had anything to do with Brown's faith in the three quarterbacks currently on his roster -- Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan -- remains to be seen. Brown said that he expects Griffin to be on the roster in April.
"That would be something we wouldn't talk about in this forum. We've had a lot of discussions, as you can imagine, about that," Brown said. "We haven't made a final decision there one way or the other but we expect Robert to be here in April when all the other guys come back."
Griffin has a $750,000 roster bonus due on March 11, which should force the team to make a decision soon.
Brown was pressed on a later comment in which he said the Browns could very well enter 2017 with the same three quarterbacks.
"That could be the reality we're faced with so it's something you have to prepare for," Brown said. "Doesn't mean that's our target but we'll leave it at that. We do like having Cody and the work they've put in. Robert obviously had a tough year with the durability and the injury early. But the reality is that those guys are on our roster and we'll continue to develop and work with them. Doesn't necessarily mean that's our aiming point."
Brown said that all three options have quite a ways to go in order to establish themselves as a top-tier NFL starter but that it doesn't mean the team should simply give up on them.
This is never an easy press conference to have. Brown recognized the state of Cleveland's "brand" right now and obviously has more questions than answers. This will be an exceptionally busy week for the Browns, who are preparing for two first-round draft picks and a long-term answer to their woes at quarterback, across the offensive line and on defense. Maybe next year he can reflect on a draft success and not another step in the process.
Other nuggets from Brown...
» Josh Gordon is applying for reinstatement, but Brown said Wednesday he did not know enough about the situation to comment. Gordon has not played in an NFL game.
"Frankly, I just don't know enough at this point about what that process would look like. I do understand that he's able to reapply somewhere in March and as I understand more, I'll be able to shed more light."
» Brown, asked about projected No. 1 pick Myles Garrett, smiled and said simply that the Texas A&M defensive end was a "Good player."
» Brown has no regrets about the Carson Wentz trade, and said he would make the same decision again.
"I think this is a trade we'll probably look back on and say it worked out for both teams. It allowed us to be in the position we are today with two (first-round picks), two (second-round picks) and two (third-round picks). We do like the trade for our side. Time will tell with all the young guys who came out of the trade.
»Brown said he's not worried about getting a deal done with Terrelle Pryor before free agency, but did appreciate his willingness to stay. "We've had good discussions with Terrelle himself. He and I have spoken a few times. We do have some meetings set up with his representatives and we'll see what happens there. We're looking forward to working towards finding some middle ground."
Brown would not comment on the team's decision not to offer Pryor the franchise tag.