Cleveland Browns fans rejoiced on Friday when new general manager John Dorsey traded the first pick in the third round of the NFL Draft to Buffalo for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
I wish I could get on board with that optimism, but I can’t.
Taylor is a playoff quarterback, so what’s not to love?
He led the Bills to the playoffs this past season, thus ending the longest playoff drought in the NFL at 17 seasons.
That’s right, even the Browns had been in the playoffs more recently than the Bills.
My objection centers not on Taylor’s arrival, it’s focused on the cost of bringing him to Cleveland.
The 65th overall pick, the first in the third round, is a slot where the Browns could reasonably be expected to acquire a contributing player in 2018, perhaps even a starter.
So what...Taylor will likely start at quarterback this fall, so isn’t a third-rounder a cheap price to pay for him?
No, not when Taylor is under contract for only the coming season, and not when he’s going to make $16 million for that single year.
My bigger issue, though, is that Buffalo wasn’t going to pay Taylor $16 million this year. It was either going to cut him or try hard to trade him in future weeks so it could avoid paying him more than the $6 million roster bonus he’s due this week.
If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Vic Carucci, who covers the Bills for the Buffalo News and also serves as a host on Sirius/XM NFL Radio.
Carucci joined Spielman & Hooley on Monday and made clear the Bills are, “ecstatic to get the 65th pick for Tyrod Taylor.”
Remember, the Bills benched Taylor for one game last season amid their push for the playoffs. He returned to the lineup only because Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of his start in Taylor’s place.
Even then, Carucci said, head coach Sean McDermott, “had to be talked out” of starting Peterman the next week.
Taylor’s appeal to the Browns is that he doesn’t throw interceptions, which will be a refreshing change for a team that threw 28 picks this past season.
Taylor has thrown only 18 interceptions in seven seasons in the NFL.
But you know what else Taylor doesn’t throw?
Or, long completions.
His 14 TDs this past season ranked 25th in the league.
Many Browns fans have told me I’m stressing over the loss of the 65th pick needlessly, because Cleveland still has two first-round picks and three second-round selections.
Even so, you can never have enough good players, and the 65th pick should result in a good player who will remain a Brown for four-to-five years, not the one Taylor is likely to play for the team.
That 65th pick could also have proven valuable if the Browns wanted to package it with one of their second-rounders to move back up into the first-round for a player they love.
I’d have favored chasing Sam Bradford, Case Keenum or Josh McCown as a bridge quarterback to the future, or taking Taylor if all those options go elsewhere.
Instead, the Browns paid a premium for a veteran quarterback who would likely have fetched no interest from the Jets, Giants, Cardinals or Broncos -- the other teams high in the draft who covet a quarterback.
Certainly, none of those teams would have offered Taylor a better chance to start immediately than the Browns.
Can you see John Elway rolling with Taylor in Denver?
Can you see Larry Fitzgerald coming back for another season in Arizona so Tyrod Taylor can throw him 8-yard passes?
Can you see either the Giants or Jets admitting that the in-state Bills had a better QB than they did?
No, no and no.
So the Browns got their quarterback, outsmarting and outbidding only themselves in doing so.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES