I have good news and bad news for Cleveland fans out there. The bad news is that your starting quarterback is hurt and may not be able to play. The good news is that your starting quarterback is Jake Delhomme, which makes a few injuries fortuitous.
Last year, the Browns found themselves with the worst quarterback situation in the league outside of Oakland. Mike Holmgren took over as GM of the team and kept Eric Mangini as coach, and it was widely assumed that Holmgren’s first priority as GM would be to address the problem at quarterback. To Holmgren’s credit, he did address the problem. But he addressed the problem by giving Delhomme $7 million in guaranteed money, which is INSANE. It was insane then, and it’s even more insane now.
No one liked this signing when it went down. You give seven million guaranteed to players who have played well the year before. You don’t give them to QB’s who have completely fallen apart mentally and have not shown any indication of being able to recover.
Delhomme had a nice preseason for Cleveland, then went right back onto the field in Tampa and threw a pick so horrid that even Brett Favre would have deemed it ill-advised. He’s still the same terrible player. And there was no reason to think he’d be anything else! Now he’s hurt to top it all off. And his backup, Seneca Wallace, is just as glaringly incompetent as any Browns QB drafted before him.
That’s what makes this so maddening. NFL coaches and GMs just loooooove to look smart. I’m sure part of Holmgren’s mentality was, “Everyone thinks Jake is washed up. WATCH ME PROVE THEM ALL WRONG! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!” GM’s totally think like this, which is why fans hate them so very much.
Already it’s clear that Cleveland will have another wasted year, a year they could have used to groom a drafted quarterback. Instead, they addressed their QB situation by replacing dreck with more dreck. Cleveland deserves better than this. Cleveland deserves a lot of things, given the year its residents have had. This is an obvious thing to complain about. But its obviousness is what makes it so infuriating.
I don’t know how you stick with a management structure that allowed this to happen, a structure that pushed for this signing when it was clear to all but them that it was a bad idea. Fans should NEVER be smarter than GM’s. Ever. I know Mike Holmgren has only been in Cleveland for a few months. I know this is only one game. But why would you ever trust your football future to this braintrust again? Someone is going to have to explain that to Browns fans in the coming months. Because I don’t see a good answer to that question.