Grossi: Flynn, Griffin III, Tannehill All Lacked Desired Traits

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]

  • sehart

    So did Holmgren say they tried to trade up for RG3 to appease season ticket holders, or is this spin to make us feel better about Weeden?

  • mgbode

    ok, we should run a poll.  which one is more revisionist history:

    A.  BW saying LeBron “might” have stayed if Mike Brown was fired after 2009.
    B.  Grossi saying Weeden was the “best” option at QB for the Browns over RGIII (after we failed to trade up)

    Now, I agree it cost too much to trade up for RGIII, but just state that and not this pretend “oh, we were never fully in on him because all he wanted to show was that he ran fast” drivel.

  • Harv 21

    Didn’t realize they were seriously concerned about Griffin, thought we knew they offered serious value for the rights to draft him. 

    Not sure if Grossi is getting sloppy or is instructed to get attention by writing catchy things at the expense of accuracy.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    My thoughts exactly – it can’t be both.

  • Dirtyalaskan

    The RGIII push was Lerner’s doing.

  • BenRM

    I laughed to myself when under “You may also like -” appeared “Gossi: Kevin Kolb Would Top Browns Wish List.” 

    Revisionist History for $100, Tony. 

  • BenRM

    you mean like he did at the PD? ZING!

  • Mark

    Read that Grossi piece. What is it? How does he know the things he’s writing about? If he spoke with anyone associated with the Browns he doesn’t say it. Not one source is cited. He implies that he has knowledge from the front office (with the Tannehill interviews) but never says it. Why? Do you think the Browns would turn to Tony Grossi of all people to pen a revisionist history of the RG3 trade? I don’t.

    The story is bouncing around on all sorts of national media sites this morning. Interesting. Kind of like Grossi’s story speculating that Colt McCoy might be cut during his rookie training camp.

    I don’t trust a word of this.

  • Garry_Owen

    “Sour grapes” is a better nickname for Griffin than “RG3.”

  • Wow

    Considering Grossi made a fool of himself on Twitter, I can’t see how he knows anything about what the Browns wanted to do.

  • kjn

    Complete agreement. The whole thing reads more like opinion or maybe an educated guess based on facts. Which is fine for some hack writing at bleacher report, but not for somebody who is supposed to be a serious newsman.

    Why does he say that the Browns pursued RG3 just enough to appear interested? Is that a fact? What are his source? Does he know what we offered? Does he know something we don’t to back this up? Why should I take his word at all on this?

    Smartest thing the PD ever did was get rid of this guy. Now if only they could clean out the rest of the cupboard.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve read about everything Grossi wrote for the PD over the decades and listened to all his podcasts before he was canned. My impression is that for some reason – hubris, mid-life crisis, whatever – he got lazy and copped an attitude about the team and his job unbecoming someone blessed with one of the few NFL team beat writing positions.  Maybe he was not trained in the lightning speed twitter era but he wasn’t always like he is now, like someone who would rather spout jaundiced opnions than dig out an accurate and balanced story.

    I wasn’t surprised at the content of his infamous tweet given the general tone he adopted. Say what you want about Windhorst but he is always on top of stories, thoroughly prepares what he writes and writes it well and pretty objectively.

  • BenRM

    I agree with everything you said.