Let’s be honest: The Cleveland Browns have been in search of a franchise quarterback since their return in 1999. While the carousel of gunslingers has continued to circle 18 years later, the Browns are yet again trying to find who can be that guy.
In the 2017 offseason edition of the search, plenty of names have risen to the top of the list, whether it’s Tyrod Taylor, who was recently re-signed by the Bills; Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo; or a number of potential quarterbacks the Browns can draft in late April. The latest name to make the list? New York Jets castaway Geno Smith. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns are interested in Smith, who was most recently with the Jets in 2016 but is currently a free agent.
To keep it short and sweet, Smith is not the answer.
Whether you believe he still has potential if he stays healthy, are a West Virginia Mountaineer fan and therefore think that you believe he can be a starting quarterback in the league, or just want to give him a shot, the answer is and always should be no when it comes to the Browns potentially giving him a chance behind center. In four years in the NFL, all of which have been spent with the Jets, Smith has completed 501-of-866 passes (58 percent) for 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions (43 turnovers). He has also ran for 647 yards and seven touchdowns on 135 carries. But after playing in 30 games (29 starts) his first two years in the league in 2013-14, the 26-year-old has seen the field in just three games over the past two seasons, including just one start.
He has not only struggled on the field, but Smith has also shown plenty of immaturity both on and off the field as well, along with being insecure and self-delusional. To put it in perspective, Brandon Marshall inferred he would rather lose with Ryan Fitzpatrick than give Geno a shot. He’s not the guy you want leading a young quarterback room.
Along with the Browns, the Giants and Chargers are also interested in adding Smith, who is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in Week 7 of last season. Although he has stated that he would be willing to take a backup role, only one of those three teams gives him the opportunity to compete for the starting job out of the gate, which will most likely mean that he will lean toward the Browns due to the fact that he is most likely looking to play and not stand on the sidelines. With the tantrums he has shown to have sine being drafted, having Smith on the sidelines with a young team isn’t a good idea whatsoever.
He may be a dual-threat quarterback, but if the Browns wanted one of those and a quarterback that hasn’t lived up to his potential so far in his career, they would have just kept Robert Griffin III instead of releasing him. In order to save both money and release paperwork, the Browns should not sign Smith and should instead lean on either Cody Kessler or a quarterback that they may draft.
Smith should try and salvage his career (and somewhat mature both on and off the field) north of Lake Erie in Canada, not on the southern shores of it.