The Cleveland Browns enter the offseason still looking for a franchise quarterback. Cleveland’s search for one has been a never-ending story for the organization. Every offseason, quarterback is always the team’s number one priority. But every quarterback Cleveland brings in ultimately fails for the organization.
But this offseason, the Browns need to find their franchise quarterback. Whether it be through the draft or free agency, they need to find their guy. And why is it so important for the Browns to finally get their quarterback? Because the rest of the teams in the AFC North are closing in on rebuilds.
In a few years, the Browns complete tear-down rebuild should be completed. And when the rebuild is over, the veteran heavy Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals will be looking at rebuilds. Granted, they will not be much minor rebuilds compared to the Browns, but they will not be as strong of teams as they have in the recent past.
The key piece for those teams in their rebuild will be finding their next quarterbacks. All three teams have franchise quarterbacks. But all three quarterbacks are at least 30-years-old. Ben Roethlisberger has already vocally considered retirement. Joe Flacco is 33-years-old and has not looked the same since leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl in 2013. Andy Dalton has struggled the past two years, and the Bengals could cut ties with him in 2019 with no dead money if his struggles continue.
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None of the three teams have quarterbacks in waiting behind their franchise quarterbacks. So once Roethlisberger, Flacco, and Dalton are no longer on their respective teams, each team will likely rebuild around a young quarterback. That would give the Browns a chance to sit atop the AFC North in just a few years. But to make that happen, they need to find a quarterback this year.
Cleveland is in the best position they have had in recent years to get a quarterback in the draft. They had chances at Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, but there were questions surrounding both players. In this year’s draft, the Browns have the chance to get whoever they want at quarterback. There are four quarterbacks that would make sense for the Browns at one and four: Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, and Baker Mayfield. All have flaws, but all potential to be the best quarterback in the draft.
Finding their quarterback this year will give him time to develop and become accustomed to the NFL by the time the other three quarterbacks will be out of the division. Cleveland’s young and inexperienced team of high draft picks will all have adjusted to the NFL and begin to enter their prime while the other three teams will be trying to rebuild with young players. If the Browns can find their quarterback, they will be in a position to potentially control the AFC North in just a few years. Which is something they have not been able to do since returning in 1999.