Stillwater News Press

Sports Columns

March 21, 2012

Day: Locations limited for Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden

STILLWATER, Okla. — At least Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden got dinner and a conversation out of John Elway before the Denver Broncos executive and NFL quarterback legend hopped on a jet to woo Peyton Manning.

The Broncos signed Manning on Tuesday, which pretty much removes Weeden from Denver’s draft board. Manning turns 36 on Saturday. It’s not sound policy to pair a 28-year old Weeden with Manning even if the Broncos trade quarterback Tim Tebow.

Weeden doesn’t have the time or inclination to be a backup quarterback. The NFL team that drafts Weeden needs him to play now.

Where does Weeden go?

The list of teams needing a quarterback is getting smaller.

The Seattle Seahawks signed Green Bay backup Matt Flynn this week. Miami picked up former Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback David Garrard. The Kansas City Chiefs signed Denver backup Brady Quinn who is expected to challenge Matt Cassel for the starting spot.

So which teams are left?

Indianapolis, Cleveland and the New York Jets in the AFC. Washington, Arizona and Green Bay in the NFC.

Most everyone knows Indianapolis will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick, and Washington will select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second pick in the draft.

The Jets and Packers need a backup quarterback for their starters Mark Sanchez Aaron Rodgers. Weeden is not a good fit for those teams.

Arizona pursued Manning, but the Cardinals seem content with Kevin Kolb as its starter.

And that leaves Cleveland.

Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy took a huge step backward last year with the Browns. Browns General Manager Tom Heckert likes Weeden’s maturity, saying he’s super smart, has won a lot of games and thrown for a lot of yards.

There’s one interesting scenario floating around.

Most NFL Draft projections have Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon heading to the St. Louis Rams, but a few see Blackmon as the Cleveland Browns fourth pick.

The Browns also have another first-round pick, No. 22, and select fourth in the second round, which is the 36th pick in the draft.

The Browns might take Blackmon with the fourth pick and Weeden with pick No. 22 or No. 36, and reunite Oklahoma State’s most prolific quarterback-receiver tandem.

Of course, Elway and Weeden did have dinner.

They have more in common than football. Elway was a star baseball player at Stanford and Weeden played in the minor leagues before an arm injury brought him to Oklahoma State.

Could they have made a connection?

Could Weeden be Manning’s understudy in Denver and eventually step into Manning’s shoes in the Mile High City?

Will Weeden be reunited with his favorite Oklahoma State receiver in Cleveland?

We will know April 26-28 when the NFL Draft is held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Chris Day is sports editor for the Stillwater NewsPress.

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