Citing concerns of size and similarities to current quarterback Colt McCoy, ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi reports that the Cleveland Browns never had any serious consideration for former free agent quarterback Matt Flynn.
“[The Browns] needed a strong and accurate arm,” writes Grossi. ”And they needed maturity. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck? Ideal fits, to be sure … but unobtainable. Manning didn’t want to play here and the Colts weren’t stupid enough to trade the No. 1 pick. Of the more realistic candidates, free agent Matt Flynn was no bigger than McCoy with a similarly popgun arm. He was never seriously considered.”
Following his record-setting performance to close out the 2011 NFL season, Flynn was thought to be a hot-button free agent before he signed a surprisingly small contract with the Seattle Seawhawks, netting him $10 million guaranteed over three seasons.
Grossi adds that Robert Griffin III’s size was also an issue as well as his penchant for running the ball instead of passing. Ryan Tannehill, another quarterback linked to the Browns in several pre-draft discussions, allegedly lacked the maturity and leadership skills the team desired. Griffin and Tannehill were subsequently drafted by the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, respectively.
“So Brandon Weeden emerged as the best option,” Grossi stated. “Great arm. Great size. Great production. And the very thing that scared off every other team – he’s a 28-year-old rookie because of a failed five-year stint in professional baseball – actually became an attraction to the Browns.”
[Related: Pat Shurmur and the Burden of Proof]