The Kaepernick tease?
So the Browns reportedly seek a trade that would bring quarterback Colin Kaepernick to Cleveland. And he wants to come.
That’s because the Denver Broncos, all of a sudden without a starting quarterback, want him, too.
Complicating matters is the San Francisco 49ers, with whom Kaepernick is under contract for the next few seasons, do not want to deal him despite his pleas to do so.
If, however, the veteran quarterback and his agent somehow convince the Niners that leaving the Bay Area would be best for both parties, the landscape changes.
Rumors persist Kaepernick wants to come to Cleveland to join up with quarterback whisperer Hue Jackson, who is now in charge. When Jackson was the Oakland Raiders’ head coach several years ago, he wanted to draft Kaepernick, but was overruled.
And now the opportunity to unite the two is coming more into focus. Maybe. The Denver situation after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler decided to bolt to Houston in free agency shines a whole new light on the matter.
Assuming the 49ers relent and allow Kaepernick to leave, why would Cleveland seem more appealing than Denver?
The Browns have wallowed in what can be charitably called mediocrity ever since coming back to the National Football League in 1999. The Broncos just won the Super Bowl.
Hmmmm. Let’s see now. The NFL’s stepchild vs. one of the league’s strongest franchises. Tough choice.
Kaepernick, currently recovering from surgeries to his left knee, left shoulder and thumb, was not thrilled when he was benched midway through last season after a 2-6 start. He asked to be dealt after the season.
Despite his efforts to separate from the club, the Niners insist he will be on the roster on April 1 when his base salary of nearly $12 million will be fully guaranteed.
What works in San Francisco’s favor is new head coach Chip Kelly, whose up-tempo style of football suits Kaepernick’s talent much better than those of backup Blaine Gabbert.
The situation could initially become a tug of war between the 49ers and Kaepernick before evolving into a two-team battle for his services.
It’s understandable if Browns fans become excited about the possibility of Kaepernick becoming the new Cleveland quarterback. It would definitely change the team’s strategy for the April college draft.
But there are too many roadblocks preventing that possibility. If Kelly can somehow convince Kaepernick to stay, all bets are off. That’s the scenario on which to keep the closest watch.
If he can’t, however, and the Niners cave and seriously entertain trade offers, the Browns still run a poor second to the Broncos. They’ve got less tradable talent unless they are willing to part with draft picks.
It’s been a long time since the Browns received a break in anything with regard to player personnel. They haven’t had a talented player at the most important position on the team since the resurrection. And now an opportunity to correct that, albeit getting slimmer by the day, is encouraging.
The fact there is a glimmer is something to hold onto. This team could use a break or two, especially after losing four core players Wednesday.
Who knows? After this little scenario plays itself out, the fortunes of Cleveland professional football just might take a turn for the better.
Or it could turn out to be just another tease.