- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Like most offseasons, the Browns have a decision to make at quarterback. A year ago, the Browns invested a first-round pick in quarterback Brandon Weeden. Now, with new decision-makers in place (Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi), no one knows what the future holds at that position, much less the 2013 season.
So, what do you think the Browns should do at quarterback?
The Browns could stick with Weeden for another season. Owner Jimmy Haslam said there will be a quarterback competition, so the job won't be handed to Weeden. But the Browns could sign a backup-level quarterback like Matt Moore in free agency, which would make Weeden the favorite to win the job.
Cleveland could trade for San Francisco's Alex Smith or sign him if he becomes a free agent. The 49ers have committed to Colin Kaepernick, which makes Smith available. Smith had a 104.1 passer rating last season before getting injured and ultimately benched. He has ties with new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who held the same position in San Francisco in 2006.
The Browns could trade for New England's Ryan Mallett. There has been speculation that Mallett is a favorite of Lombardi. As an NFL Network analyst prior to the 2011 draft, Lombardi suggested that Mallett was going to be a first-round pick. Lombardi also has a strong relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, which is always helps in facilitating a deal.
Cleveland could draft a quarterback in the first round again. While many analysts don't think a quarterback should go in the top half of the first round, the Browns could surprise everyone by taking USC's Matt Barkley or West Virginia's Geno Smith with the No. 6 pick or trade down to get one of them. This seems to be a long shot, but you can never predict what at team will do when it comes to quarterbacks (did you expect Christian Ponder to go at No. 12 in 2011?)
Record your vote in the poll and let me hear your thoughts on this hot topic by dropping me a line in the AFC North mailbag. Your comments may appear on the AFC North blog later in the week.