This afternoon, the Cleveland Browns have been busy, and have apparently decided to pull themselves out of the free agent quarterback chase.
Just hours after announcing that they were sending two picks to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Franchise Tagged receiver Jarvis Landry, the Browns have announced they’re sending the first pick in the third round, #65 overall, to the Buffalo Bills for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The move effectively takes the Browns out of the race for a free agent quarterback, and while they haven’t been mentioned as serious suitors for Kirk Cousins at this point, they have (by far) the most money to throw around in free agency. That’s good news for the Minnesota Vikings. . .well, it’s good news if you want them to go hard after Cousins, I guess.
With this, it appears that the Bills could be joining the race for a quarterback. According to Over the Cap, they had a little more than $24 million in cap space to work with before the Taylor deal, but the trade should free up about $10 million more for them to work with. That still doesn’t put them that high up on the list, but it does give them enough where they could target one of two Vikings’ quarterbacks. While Case Keenum might be out of their range, either Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater could be a fit in Buffalo now that there’s an opening.
I can’t imagine that the Bills will go into next season with Nathan Peterman as their starting quarterback, so now the Vikings have some different competition to deal with when free agency starts. With about one-third of the cap space that Cleveland has, however, they aren’t as big a competitor as the Browns could have been.