Let me start by saying that I don't like rumors, or reporting rumors, but it's that time of the year. Most of what we will hear between now and Tuesday will be speculative, exciting, frustrating, and certainly conversational all at once.
That being said, Mary Kay Cabot decided to kick the Browns rumor season off in her article late Friday night. Per at least one league source, the Browns are interested in Ryan Mallett. An excerpt from the article is below:
One NFL source said he still expects the Browns to try to trade for New England Patriots backup Ryan Mallett. Another said coach Patriots Bill Belichick won't part with him. The Boston Globe recently reported it would take at least a second-round pick to land Mallett, a former third-rounder.
Also appearing tonight on RotoWorld's twitter feed was the below report, confirming or at least showing that they are buying into her sources. Either that, or they want some more hits, but here is what was posted on their page stating why they think it makes sense to deal Mallett if you're Bill Belicheck:
Alen Dumonjik of the Boston Globe, RotoWorld and The SidelineView tweeted this shortly after some of these tweets started popping up tonight . . . and I agree:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I understand why Cleveland is going after Mallett but I don't understand why Lombardi likes him so much.</p>— Alen Dumonjic (@Dumonjic_Alen) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dumonjic_Alen/status/310252640057585664">March 9, 2013</a></blockquote>
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NFL.COM reporter Chris Wesseling also chimed in early Saturday morning ( including video of Inside the Browns War Room ) entitled: Ryan Mallett Trade Remains on Browns Radar. Here's some of what he had to say:
As far as reports go, it's on the weak side. There's no indication from any source directly connected with the Browns that they plan to pursue Mallett.
As tight as Lombardi and Belichick have been since the early 1990s, however, there's a good chance the two men have already touched base about Mallett's availability.
It's interesting to note that the Boston Globe's Shalise Manza-Young told "NFL AM" Friday that she still expects Mallett to be traded before the start of the 2013 season.
I am not so sure about this rumor fellow Browns fans. If I were the new coach and regime, I would never want to spend that much on Mallett without even looking at Weeden. Furthermore, I would think that if everyone in that room in Berea "drove themselves to consensus" about trading for Mallett that we are all in trouble. It just doesn't make sense to me. And as you know, I've already staked my claim for Weeden being the best option for the Browns in 2013 in my first piece here at DawgsByNature.
In closing, the only way I would be OK with this trade is if Lombardi and Banner already have a trade lined up for Weeden. If Lombardi and Banner have that set up, to get something back, then I'm OK with this approach and with Mallett, otherwise it just doesn't make sense to spend so much without knowing what you already have.