Alex Smith could provide veteran option for Browns at quarterback

From ESPN - January 12, 2018

New Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey concedes that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league.

In past years, the Browns have driven the position into a brick wall.

This offseason, the Browns have a rare chance to address the position for both the short and long term. Part of the solution is to not give up on DeShone Kizer and continue to work with him. But other pieces need to be added, with another young quarterback via the draft and with a veteran to ensure the young player(s) are not forced on the field before they are ready.

Adding a veteran is paramount. Bill Walsh once said that if a quarterback plays too soon, the experience can be traumatic and ruin him. That Kizer fought to the end last season is to his credit. But it does not erase the need to add a veteran.

Which means the dots are in place to bring Alex Smith to the Cleveland Browns.

Smith has been with the Chiefs the past five seasons. Hes won 50 games, started 76 and has never been part of a losing season. In five playoff games hes thrown for 1,250 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions with a 96.0 passer rating.

But hes only won in the postseason once in Kansas City, and never advanced beyond the divisional round. Smith is 33, and the clear feeling coming out of Kansas City is that the Chiefs feel he has taken them as far as he can.Last season, the Chiefs traded up to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes 10th overall. His time seems to have arrived.

Which leads to Dorsey, who was part of the decision to bring Smith to the Chiefs in 2013. If Dorsey is looking for a perfect quarterback to step in and play efficiently for a young team, he doesnt have to look past the guy he knows well.

Some of Smiths numbers are more than impressive -- especially in limiting turnovers, a Hue Jackson emphasis. Smith has not thrown more than eight interceptions in a season since 2010. Kizer led the NFL with 22 last season (six more than Cam Newton at second); Smith has thrown 20 in the past three seasons.

His completion percentage has been at 60 percent or better in each of the past seven seasons. Sixty percent is another Jackson benchmark.


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