NFL Free Agency: Browns should pass on Matt Schaub

mattschaub

Technically, Matt Schaub isn’t a free agent. Yet.

The Houston Texans are expected to release the veteran quarterback any day now. He had a disastrous 2013 season, including four straight games in which he threw an interception that was run back for a touchdown. He was repeatedly booed in his home park and the team is looking to move on from the Schaub era.

Several insiders have reported that the Browns, Raiders and Jets will all be potential suitors for Schaub once he is released.

Jason LaCanfora even went as far as to say that the Browns are the place where Schaub makes the most sense.

“Matt Schaub, Cleveland: With the Browns firing their front office and going with rookie GM Ray Farmer and rookie coach Mike Pettine, the likelihood they trade up or go big for a quarterback at the top of the draft has greatly diminished. I’d be surprised if they took a passer in the first round. They want competition for Brian Hoyer however, and Schaub already knows this system inside out from his time with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Houston. In fact, he thrived under him. Schaub is not as mobile and spry as he used to be, but with a new offensive system in place there, Schaub is an obvious choice and after making $15M a year the past few years, he will come cheaply. (Rex Grossman would be a fall-back plan here, with his Shanahan ties).”

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I understand the idea of new coaches bringing in former players to help teach their system and for a feeling of security. If Mike Pettine wants to bring in Jairus Byrd, even at $9 million per season, please feel free. If Kyle Shanahan wants to bring in WR Josh Morgan, I’m on board.

But Matt Schaub? Rex Grossman? No thanks.

One report I read over the weekend called Schaub a “bridge quarterback” meaning he would be the bridge between where the team is now and when it is ready for the quarterback of the future (assuming the Browns drafted that player this season.) I won’t even link the piece as they obviously forgot that quarterback is already on the roster. His name is Brian Hoyer.

At linebacker, or say wide receiver you can certainly bring in an extra guy to help a new coach out. No problem. Take a look at what Quentin Groves did last year. The Browns brought in Groves to be an extension of Ray Horton on the practice field. Groves wasn’t a starter last season. He did contribute before his injury and was a very good special teams player as well. At linebacker you can bring in an extra guy with no problem.

At quarterback, and especially with this team, there is no room to waste.

Brian Hoyer I believe will have a legitimate chance to win the starting quarterback job next season. The Browns need to bring in two players with Hoyer that have the potential to be future franchise quarterbacks. I say two so that the Browns can double their chances. Draft two. Not necessarily two in the first two rounds, but take a pair of guys that you like and bring everybody to camp.

Brian Hoyer may not have been teamed with Kyle Shanahan in the past, but he studied under Tom Brady and is a professional. He is more than capable of being the “veteran leader” at quarterback that a rookie needs to learn from.

Maybe it’s the list of quarterbacks that the Browns have brought in through free agency in the past talking. Detmer, Garcia, Dilfer, Delhomme and Wallace. Sure, let’s just add Rex Grossman or Matt Schaub to the never ending roll of quarterbacks. It just doesn’t make sense to me to bring in a guy that you already know isn’t the long term answer at the most important position on the team. We’ve been there and done that. Let’s try something else. Let the Raiders or Jets sign the 32 year old quarterback on the decline.

  • Petefranklin

    That makes me smile!

  • mgbode

    and by, let him sit, you mean let him recover from his ACL injury.

  • nj0

    Kanicki did a really good break down of Hoyer’s play time last year. I find reasons to be optimistic, though I’m also well aware that more than a few Browns QBs have looked good over a >8 game span.

  • RGB

    Yep.
    I’m a big Aaron Murray fan.

  • EyesAbove

    I never said he was “the answer” but I think he’s decent enough to take a flyer on. Even at his peak he was a tier 2 QB in this league. However, he was (maybe still is) a guy you could win with if you had enough pieces around him.

    Im not saying they should give him a 5 year deal and hand him the starting job, but if he wants to come in on a one year deal and compete for the job I’d be all for it.

  • nj0

    As a Houstonian who watched a lot of Schaub, I’d caution against bestowing greatness on him as well. He’s always had a lot of talent around him and has never been that impressive in my opinion. There’s a lot of passes he can’t make and he is rather immobile. A lot of question marks there.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    If he’ll come here on a cheap one year deal, I don’t see what the problem is. Worst case he is your backup. Best case he surprises and beats out Hoyer for the starting gig. We’re usually on QB3 by mid season…we all know you can’t have too many QB’s in this town.

    Last year was such an anomaly for him that I wonder if a change of scenery and a reunion with Shannahan won’t be good for him. Low risk high reward kind of deal and I think it’s a solid move.

  • Steve

    Sure, but they, along with Wilson, Luck and Newton are going to be the next generation of top tier QBs, and we’re looking at almost a unanimous group of immediate starters. It seems like a generational shift.

    And Bledsoe and Favre were not getting upseated right away. And Kaepernick was a second round pick. The idea seems to be that top five picks are going to play right away nowadays.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Sure, but I think it’s a bad shift, and FWIW I’d rather they wait on a QB until at least 26, probably later.

  • Steve

    http://www.footballperspective.com/quarterback-age-curves/

    Prime QB age: 26-30, so yes, they are near their best at 26, but you waste important development time if you sit them until then. Even Brady, sixth rounder who showed up to the combine like he’s never seen a weight room was more than ready to go by age 24.

    It really boils down to getting snaps versus watching someone else get the snaps. I just don’t see how having a veteran guy take away important practice and game time from the rookie can be helpful to the young guy. In the examples you mentioned, playing time was given to the veteran because the thought was for the team to win now. The Browns should be more concerned with getting their young franchise QB ready to be a star than to squeeze out 7 wins instead of 5 next year.

  • nj0

    Schaub was criticized for a lot of things we all hate in our QB – no arm strength, constant check downs, game manager… He played on some completely stacked offensive teams that never won anything. I’d suggest people on the “for” side look beyond the numbers.

    Successful Houston offense: Foster run, Foster run, check down to TE, Foster run, Foster run, play action bomb to Andre Johnson who is three feet ahead of the defender he just smoked….

    Unsuccessful ends with a blitz getting to the immobile Schaub who panics and tosses up a duck or just your plain bad pass into double coverage.

  • mgbode

    I think Ezzie meant pick26 in that post.

  • mgbode

    The only QBs in this draft I really, really like where they are likely to be picked are Teddy, Aaron Murray and Connor Shaw. Possibly JimmyG, but I haven’t seen him play and am only going by reports I have read.

    I’m intrigued by Manziel & Bortles, but they are a much riskier proposition than Bridgewater. I won’t be upset with them, but understand why many are frightened.

    I really don’t like Carr, McCarron, Mettenberger, Morris.

  • CB Everett

    A “bridge quarterback” to nowhere. Also acceptable?

  • Garry_Owen

    Affirmative.

  • Steve

    Ah, that makes more sense. I’d say only if you are certain your top guy will be available there. My sense of getting value on a QB in the draft may be unfairly altered by Frye, McCoy, and Weeden, and you certainly can get a great QB later in the draft, but I think that’s luck more than anything else. Like I said, I think you go boom or bust with that top pick.

  • James Workman

    So the answer to my question would be the latter than, lol. I understand what you’re saying on Hoyer, I’m not touting him as the “answer” either. I just don’t see how a Schaub, who at his best was only above avg. and is now starting the downside of his career is a better option? And before you say 1 year deal on the cheap. What reason would Schaub have to come to the Browns on a Jason Cambell type contract? I just don’t see it. I wasn’t trying to be a wiseass with my comment, intended it to be a serious query. I just don’t agree with change for change sake. Assuming we are drafting a QB in the draft, I dont see where Schaub is a better option than Hoyer as the interim/groomer/savior signal caller that some think he will be. I hear a lot of “what if’s?” in the pro Schaub arguments and thats not how I like to gamble.

  • James Workman

    Agreed. I feel a lot of this chatter will all be for not. But I have been wrong in the past and will undoubtably be wrong again.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    hey now!

    yeah so the reasonable response is to say two games, fluke, 3 picks vs minny, fake FG vs cincy. the alt point of view holds that it was very remarkable to take over a down team and frankly inspire the best play of the year from them.

    looking at those games closely my obs: really accurate = high yac (100 each game), fast release, bad throws/picks reduced not eliminated in cincy game, special huddle presence (team responds to hoyer).

    don’t forget that minny game was after 0-2 start, on road, just traded ‘face of franchise,’ starting 3rd string qb. whether you credit hoyer (for stepping up with one wk of 1st team snaps) or chud (going balls out in game with deck stacked against) or both; it was a very awesome game. the cincy game was much more conservative game plan and even so, two missed FGs made it look closer than it was and didnt cincy win the division?

  • markn95

    There are a number of reasons not to sign Schaub, but calling him the next Jake Delhomme isn’t one of them. Delhomme was 35 when Uncle Mike summoned him to Cleveland. Schaub wont be 33 until June, and his mileage is low because he spent his first few years behind Michael Vick. And while Schaub had a terrible 2013, Delhomme was even worse in 2009, his last year before coming to Cleveland. Delhomme’s numbers in 11 starts that year: 178/231 (55.5%), 2015 yards, 8 TD’s/18 INT’s. Schaub’s numbers in 8 starts last year: 219/358 (61.2%), 2310 yards, 10 TD’s, 14 INT’s. Basically, he had better overall numbers with fewer starts.
    It will be very interesting to see if another team brings in Schaub to start. The Jets and Raiders can definitely offer him a spot. Here, Hoyer would make me wary if I were Schaub.

  • John In Lakewood

    why not become the next team to become overly impressed with Schaub and to overpay for their infatuation?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Yeah, I meant pick, sorry.

    The difference is getting a better understanding of reads and routes and NFL timing through practice and watching and learning from others’ mistakes, without teams being able to dissect your own weaknesses before you have yourself.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Re: where you draft a QB, I wish I could find where I broke this down once, but basically it seems that at the top of drafts there are two types: Guys who are clear franchise QBs, and guys who end up busting for the most part (especially if they start right away).

    After those first few picks there are lots of guys in the middle first to early second; the ones who sit for a bit seem to be the best. And beyond that, it’s a crapshoot. So I’d be OK with taking a guy at 26 or 35 to sit, since I don’t believe there’s a franchise QB and I don’t believe that you can really sit a #4 pick.

  • Steve

    It’s the same point I’ve already made, but I just don’t see how you get better at timing and reads if the other guy is getting the lion’s share of practice time (which he needs, because he’s going to be the guy on the field on Sunday), and specifically practice time with the first teamers, and all the game time.

    You’ve got to put everything into developing the kid, which means as many reps, and as many in full-speed conditions, as possible.

  • thorsmjollnir

    Drafting two quarterbacks would just be a waste of a draft pick.

  • AtariHero

    You missed Campbell. Who was released, despite being a solid qb last season. I’m disappointed (that Campbell was cut). I thought he was a solid QB who isn’t going to lose games for us, who shows some flashes of excellence, who didn’t turn the ball over and could manage an offense.

  • mgbode

    solid QB who isn’t going to lose games for us

    he went 1-7. no, that is not all on him, but it’s not like he was playing so fantastic that it was just everyone else either. he had a nice first couple games and then his play fell off.