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Other NFL teams are outraged that the Browns found a loophole that lets them work with top prospect Marcus Mariota

marcus mariota rose bowl
marcus mariota rose bowl

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 12 pick in the NFL Draft and are reportedly open to taking a quarterback given Johnny Manziel's uncertain status.

Marcus Mariota, one of the two best quarterbacks in the draft, could be on the board, and the Browns are apparently taking advantage of the rules to get some extra insight into him.

Right now the Browns don't have a quarterbacks coach. They fired ex-QB coach Dowell Loggains — who convinced the team to draft Manziel — after the season.

According to widespread reports, they plan to hire Kevin O'Connell for the position. But they've yet to make it official.

O'Connell, it just so happens, is currently working with Mariota as a personal tutor ahead of the NFL Draft.

NFL rules prohibit teams from having access to prospects before the NFL Combine (which starts next week). But since O'Connell doesn't technically work for the Browns yet, he gets to spend all the time in the world with him.

It seems like a small thing — it's not like Mariota has any say over where he plays, so O'Connell can't convince him to "pick" the Browns or anything — but other NFL teams don't like it.

One GM told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk:

"So let me get this straight. The Browns can have their quarterbacks coach in waiting work with a player, teach him the entire offense, etc., but we can’t even talk to any potential draft pick until the Combine per league rules? Something is wrong here."

The Browns have had a nightmare offseason. Their offensive coordinator quit. Their quarterback entered rehab. Their best offensive weapon got suspended for a year. The rest of the league has no sympathy, though.

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