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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Would Matt Cassel really interest Browns?

By Jamison Hensley

Even if the Browns wanted Alex Smith, the price was too steep for them to acquire him.

Smith was traded to Kansas City for a second-round pick in the 2013 draft -- the second selection (No. 34 overall) in the round -- as well as another conditional mid-round pick in 2014, a league source confirmed to ESPN's John Clayton. The Browns didn't have a second-round pick this year because they used it on wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft last year. If Cleveland did have one, its second-rounder would still have been lower than the Chiefs'.

Now that Smith is no longer a candidate to come to Cleveland, you can expect to hear Matt Cassel being linked to the Browns. Cassel is expected to be released by the Chiefs, sources told ESPN. He was a disaster last season for the Chiefs, going 1-7 in eight starts in 2012. His 66.7 passer rating ranked 32nd in the league. Still, Browns vice president of player personnel Mike Lombardi is close with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who drafted Cassel in 2005.

While the Browns haven't named Brandon Weeden their starter for 2013, it seems like they're down to looking at lower-tier quarterbacks like Cassel and Matt Moore to come in and compete with him. There is also still a chance that the Browns could trade for Patriots backup Ryan Mallett. At this point, Weeden is the favorite to hold onto the job, and as I wrote earlier today, he remains the Browns' best option.