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2020 NFL Draft

5 things to know as Browns close minicamp, react to trade

Browns coach Hue Jackson, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and a pair of veteran quarterbacks — Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III — met with the local media Thursday to talk about the end of Cleveland's voluntary veteran minicamp and a blockbuster trade in which the team dealt the No. 2 pick to Philadelphia.

Here's five things you should know.

First minicamp in the books

Jackson said he's been impressed by his first voluntary veteran minicamp as Cleveland's head coach, saying the players have "established a work ethic" that's expected to carry over into next season.

"I think they come to practice with a purpose and they understand what we're trying to accomplish," he said.

Jackson called the three days of practice "just another evaluation process" and the coaching staff will launch into the next phase of the offseason in addition to preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft.

"But it was really fun to be around the guys and see how they work, how they interact with each other, how they interact with coaches, how they interact with me," Jackson said, "and really understand what the expectation is here and what we need to do to win."

Brown, Jackson size up blockbuster trade

Both Brown and Jackson made it clear they believe Cleveland's decision to deal away the No. 2 pick to Philadelphia on Wednesday was in the best interest of the team's future aspirations.

The Browns in exchange received the No. 8 overall pick in addition to extra selections in this year's draft and next.

"We were tempted to stay on the clock," Brown said, "but we felt like the offer to move back just six spots for the picks that we were able to acquire was just a better bet."

Jackson echoed Brown when asked to offer his take on the move.

"I have a big smile on my face. I was excited and ecstatic about what Sashi and his group has done for our football team," he said.

Jackson also played down speculation the Browns made the trade because they believed neither California's Jared Goff nor North Dakota State's Carson Wentz were worthy of taking on a franchise quarterback role with the team.

"They're really good players and they're going to have fine careers in the National Football League. I think they're two really good young men and they're going to play in this league and obviously we'll all see how that unfolds," Jackson said.

​'I'm not in the business of handing anybody anything'

Amid a flurry of questions about new Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III, Jackson made it clear Cleveland doesn't have a starter at quarterback yet, and Griffin — like everybody else on the roster — will have to earn the right to play next season.

"I'm not in the business of handing anybody anything," Jackson said.

Griffin, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year who started three seasons with the Redskins, agreed with his head coach.

"Everything you obtain in this world is earned, it's not given. Throughout my career, I've earned everything that I've gotten. And when things didn't work out it was my fault. So you take ownership of that," he said. "And we as quarterbacks know in that room, the stronger we are as a group, the better this football team's going to be. We're all in there trying to help each other compete for one spot and I respect those guys."

What's in a franchise QB anyway?

Asked if he believed there was a potential franchise quarterback in this year's draft class outside of Goff and Wentz, Jackson digressed, saying "everybody keeps using that term very loosely."

"What are franchise quarterbacks? There's not Peyton Manning and Tom Brady walking around all the time. I think every quarterback has to be coached and put in an environment so he can be successful and be good," Jackson said.

"I'm a true believer in that when you have a quarterback on your football team or you put a quarterback on your football team that's first and foremost and you have to do everything you can to help that player be all he can be. That's when guys start becoming franchise quarterbacks. Everybody keeps thinking, this guy's the perfect guy and you just draft him. I think there's more to it than that. I think there's a lot of decisions that go into it about that player, not so much how that unfolds, just that player. I feel good about where we are and I feel good about the four men we have here."

Connor Shaw limited in practice

Jackson said quarterback Connor Shaw was limited in minicamp because of a "slight pull."

"He could've went but again, this is a voluntary minicamp so I'm going to be hesitant if anyone has any little thing," Jackson said. "I'm going to make sure that we get them up to speed to where they need to be before we start competing that way."

Shaw missed the 2015 season with a broken thumb.

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