The Quarterback-Starved Cleveland Browns Tried To Trade For Alex Smith

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Perhaps decent quarterbacks will continue to elude the Cleveland Browns until the end of time.

The team reportedly tried to remedy their nearly two-decades-long quarterback problems with an Alex Smith trade, according to, before the Washington Redskins snatched him up from the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Browns were apparently one of six teams to discuss Smith with Kansas City.

While the Browns failed to bring Smith in, their doing so is actually a win. Because of the leaguewide interest in the Chiefs quarterback, Washington handsomely overpaid Kansas City for the right to then overpay Smith through age 38. Unwise for a quarterback so reliant on his now-declining athleticism in rollouts.

Instead, the Browns will have their choice from one the deepest quarterback draft classes we’ve seen in a while—they hold the No. 1 overall pick, the No. 4 overall pick, three second-rounders, and 12 picks overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Then there’s Kirk Cousins, the top free agent quarterback this offseason, now firmly out of Washington with Smith’s arrival.

Then again, Cousins has indicated that winning will be his priority in free agency.

“Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No,” Cousins recently told “Pro Football Talk Live.” “It’s about winning, and that’s what I want more than anything. So I’m going to be willing to make sacrifices or do what has to be done to make sure I’m in the best possible position to win, and that’s what the focus is going to be. … Ultimately this decision going forward is about winning games. I’ve had an opportunity to earn a good living playing football, so I want to go win. That can be Washington. It really can. (Winning is) what I’ll be remembered for. That’s what’s going to matter.”

That doesn’t bode well for a team with one win since 2015.