The View From Pluto: Browns' Front Office Hits A New Low During The Bye Week

Nov 1, 2017

Paul DePodesta (left) and Sashi Brown at their introductory press conference January, 2016.
Credit Cleveland Browns

The winless Browns hit a new low during their bye week. The team failed to make several deals ahead of yesterday’s NFL trade deadline.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says he expected the team to acquire a quarterback, but then nothing happened.   

The Browns are 0-8 for two consecutive seasons, so it seemed likely the team would try to make something happen ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. trade deadline. 

Missing out on Garoppolo
Their target was likely New England Patriot's back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been on their radar for at least six months. The Patriots have been looking to trade Garoppolo, 26, who wants to be with a team where he can start.  

The Browns were considered to be contenders for Garoppolo, since they've racked up a number of draft picks to offer. Then, the San Francisco 49ers completed the deal -- sending a second-round pick to New England in exchange for Tom Brady's backup. 

"When I heard that, I go, 'That's it?' Because the price was much higher during the draft. And my immediate thought was, 'Where were the Browns in this?'"

"Garoppolo has been in the league for three years," Pluto says. "He's studied under Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. You trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, you will have a quarterback in the NFL for several years."

The picks to trade
Pluto says the Browns have three second-round draft picks in 2018.

"That's a stunning amount. If I knew the 49ers offered one second-round pick, I'd probably go up to two second-round picks, fine! I can't imagine Belichick not getting on the phone [with the Browns] after this offer from San Francisco and not going, 'Hey what can you do?'"

Biggest failure under new regime
Pluto believes the major failure of the front office that took over in 2016, that includes Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta and Sashi Brown, vice president of football operations.  

"Even while there's different things they could have done in the draft, trying to figure out which quarterback out of college [is going to be successful] is a lot harder to sort through than a guy that's been in the league for three years and has some starts and you have some film on him.

"To me, you did these things to add these picks for something like this (to spend) on a player you clearly wanted for months and months. And for whatever reason, they didn't get him."

Another deal falls through
With Garoppolo off to the 49ers, the Browns tried to make another deal that collapsed minutes before the deadline.

The Browns and Bengals had come to terms on backup quarterback A.J. McCarron

"The Bengals thought there was a trade. The Browns thought there was a trade. The league said it wasn't done in time. But I'm simply going to say this: They didn't make it happen."

What went wrong?
Pluto says he doesn't know why the Browns failed to make a deal. 

"Other than they were too afraid to be 'over-paying,' I can't come up with a reason. Certainly the coaching staff wasn't in the way; they wanted another quarterback. It wasn't their fault.

"So, now it's eight more games of DeShone Kizer."