New Browns head coach Rob Chudzinsk was noncommittal when asked about his starting quarterback next season, saying that it was “premature” to label second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden the team’s starter, according to the Associated Press.
Weeden, already 29 years old, threw for 3,385 yards this season, along with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, despite having running back Trent Richardson at his disposal. His production did not match up to fellow rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, or Russell Wilson, so fans in Cleveland are already calling for the redhead to be shown the door.
However, Chudzinski would be unwise to attempt to replace Weeden so quickly. Weeden’s strong arm is a perfect fit for offensive Norv Turner’s offense, so Chudzinski should wait and see what the former first-rounder can do under Turner’s tutelage.
Additionally, there are no “can’t miss” quarterbacks in this draft class or free agency pool that would represent a clear upgrade at the quarterback position. Alex Smith, probably the most attractive trade option on the market, has proven that he is not truly a franchise-changing player, and all of the quarterbacks in this year’s class have serious flaws.
Instead, Chudzinski should roll the dice with Weeden again. Cleveland has a strong defensive unit and a talented back in Richardson, so if Weeden can take a step forward this season, the Browns could be a surprise contender. If Weeden fails, Cleveland can look to the 2014 draft class, which features more attractive quarterback options, such as Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.