Finding a franchise QB will be new Browns GM John Dorsey's top priority

Posted Dec 8, 2017

'I think we all know that is the big piece that we still have to get right'

Among the long list of accomplishments by new Browns general manager John Dorsey, his role in drafting Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stands out.

Dorsey, who was hired Thursday to oversee Cleveland’s personnel department, played a major role in helping lay the groundwork for one of the league’s top franchises as an executive in Green Bay’s front office for more than a decade. And perhaps one of the biggest keys to that success was the decision to pick Rodgers, who blossomed into a two-time league NFL MVP, six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion.

Now, there is hope that Dorsey — who spent the past four seasons turning around the Kansas City Chiefs — can have a similar impact with the Browns.

“The Cleveland Browns are not going to be successful until we get a quarterback,” owner Jimmy Haslam said Friday.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to find a quarterback we need to be successful. Let me say one more thing, that will be John’s No. 1 priority. During the process, we have gotten to know each other very well over the last several weeks. I think he would tell you if you asked him, ‘What did Jimmy ask you more than anything?’ It was about quarterback.”

Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson echoed that sentiment as they hope to lift up a franchise that has lost 27 of its past 28 games. And though rookie DeShone Kizer has shown promise at times this season, Cleveland’s search for a franchise quarterback will continue in 2018.

“This is a quarterback-driven league,” Dorsey said. “We all know that, and we all know to succeed and go alittle bit further and further and further that you need one of those guys.”

“I think we all know that is the big piece that we still have to get right,” Jackson added. “I think that’s what we will definitely sit down and talk through. I think John has some tremendous ideas on how to accomplish that.”

In Green Bay, it was drafting Rodgers with the 24th-overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. In 2013 (Dorsey’s first season on the job in Kansas City), he engineered a trade for quarterback Alex Smith, who has set multiple team passing records since coming to the Chiefs. 

Dorsey said he’d like to evaluate Kizer and the rest of Cleveland’s quarterbacks in addition to potential options in free agency and next spring’s draft. Dorsey said he was fond of Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, when he was evaluating players in Kansas City. 

“We actually brought him up as one of the four or five quarterbacks in terms of the 30-player visit last year coming out in the draft,” he said.

“I think what you have to do is you have to sit down as a group after the end of the season. Let’s sit down as a group; I want to understand from a coaching perspective how they see it; I want to see how the personnel staff sees it; I want to sit down with the head coach and see how he sees it. Let’s begin to build a plan moving forward and identify. “

While there’s a sense of urgency to address the Browns’ longstanding issue at quarterback, Dorsey said the team won’t rush into anything.

“I think it’s an evaluation period that is going to take a little bit of a while to put a plan together," he said. "The draft is four-and-a-half months away and free agency is like three months away. We have ample time to make a plan here.”

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