It sounds like UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is going to have some Myles Garrett moments with the Browns this week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Last year, Garrett apologized to the Browns at the combine for playfully asking his hometown Dallas Cowboys in an ESPN-produced video to trade with the Browns and draft him No. 1 overall.

Garrett recovered well by saying all the right things at the combine — in front of media and behind the scenes — and the defensive end from Texas A&M eventually became the top pick when the Browns turned in the card for him.

Now it’s Rosen’s turn to convince General Manager John Dorsey, coach Hue Jackson and other Browns bigwigs he would embrace the challenge of attempting to resurrect a perennial loser.

On Dec. 24, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Rosen would prefer to play for the New York Giants, who have the No. 2 overall pick, instead of the Browns, who own the No. 1 selection again. “I’d rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher [pick] at the wrong team,” Rosen said a day before the report surfaced, according to ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss.

Rosen didn’t deny any of it until recently.

“I’ve never said anything about not wanting to play in Cleveland,” Rosen told NFL Network’s Michael Silver last week, the reporter tweeted Tuesday. “I don’t know where that came from. There’s absolutely no foundation in reality in that [report].”

Later, Silver tweeted: “He’s saying on the record he would happily play for the Browns. He’ll look Dorsey, Hue et al in the eye in Indy and tell them that. Pretty sure perception [he hopes to avoid the Browns] takes [a loss] after that.”

Most draft analysts consider Southern California’s Sam Darnold the early front-runner to become the top pick, but Rosen, the best passer in this class, is definitely in the running. The Browns, who also have the No. 4 overall pick, are thoroughly studying Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield as well.

Of the four, only Darnold will reportedly decline to throw at the combine, which began Tuesday and will run through March 5. He’ll throw March 21 at USC’s pro day, according to ESPN. Darnold will still make headlines this week, though, partly because some people in the league are curious about his hand-size measurement after he fumbled 21 times in college.

Still, interviews and medical exams are usually the most important facets of the combine.

Last month at the Senior Bowl, Dorsey said he was eager to meet with Rosen at the combine and hear from the horse’s mouth how he feels about the Browns.

“Let’s talk like grown men and see what happens,” Dorsey said then.

Each team is permitted to interview as many as 60 players for 15 minutes each, and Rosen’s time with the Browns will be important. He’ll also get a chance to send a message to their fans Friday, when quarterbacks are scheduled to address media. The medical checks will be vital for Rosen, too, because he had surgery on his throwing shoulder in 2016 and suffered two concussions last year.

As for the Browns, they will be heard from. Jackson’s combine news conference is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, and Dorsey’s is slated for noon Thursday.

Here are some other Browns issues we can hope to learn more about …

Coming back or not?

Browns 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas has yet to publicly reveal whether he intends to play next season or retire.

Thomas, 33, has repeatedly vowed to notify the Browns of his plan before free agency, which unofficially opens with a legal negotiating period March 12 and officially kicks off March 14. He has one season left on his contract.

For what it’s worth, his podcast partner, former Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, told the Athletic’s Tom Reed last week at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference that he has no inside information but his “gut feeling” is Thomas will return.

Either way, the Browns know they ought to find an heir to Thomas this offseason.

Veteran QB outlook

Dorsey will almost certainly avoid speaking specifically about impending unrestricted free agents like Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, but the GM, if he chooses, could throw water on the notion of spending something like $30 million a year on a player.

Despite the Browns being projected to have more than $110 million in salary-cap space, Cousins has never seemed like a realistic option for them because he has stressed his desire to join a winning organization.

And the Browns don’t appear to be willing to break the bank for Cousins because they would likely prefer to draft a quarterback early and sign or trade for a veteran bridge starter, with AJ McCarron of the Cincinnati Bengals, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings, Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills, Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chase Daniel of the New Orleans Saints and Josh McCown of the New York Jets among the possibilities.

Browns consultant Scot McCloughan, Washington’s former GM, saying last month during a radio interview he doesn’t “see special” when he looks at Cousins supports the idea.

Even Thomas has given up on his Cousins-to-Cleveland dream, a scenario for which the future Hall of Fame offensive lineman publicly lobbied.

“I think those chances are out the window to be totally honest,” Thomas said last week on his podcast with Hawkins, the ThomaHawk Show. “It doesn’t seem like the Browns are going to land Kirk Cousins.

“I think it’ll probably be Denver or the Jets just based on what people that know people are saying. That’s strictly hearsay from people that know people like within Kirk’s camp and within those teams’ camp.”

Familiar free agents

Running back Isaiah Crowell is the only Browns starter who’s on the verge of becoming an unrestricted free agent next month, and anyone who talked to him throughout last season got the feeling he won’t be back.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus isn’t commenting on whether Dorsey has talked to him at all about retaining Crowell or whether the two sides are planning to meet at the combine.

Free-agent running back Chris Ivory visited the Browns on Tuesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Ivory met with the Buffalo Bills on Monday and has a visit scheduled with another team on Wednesday. Ivory, a backup the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was cut last week.

So all signs continue to point to the Browns and Crowell going their separate ways.

This week, the Browns will also focus on what’s widely deemed a strong draft for running backs. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the headliner and is an option at No. 4 overall, with Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick — the Browns need help at cornerback and free safety and believe he can play both — or a trade down looking like other realistic outcomes there. The Browns have 12 picks, including six of the top 65, so they could also seek a running back in a promising second tier.

Former Browns special teams captain Tank Carder is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, and he’s coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Defensive tackle Jamie Meder is eligible for restricted free agency.

Former All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon is an exclusive rights free agent, which means he’s not really free at all. The Browns will tender him a one-year contract — $790,000 in his case, according to the collective bargaining agreement — by March 14. The tender will prevent Gordon from negotiating or signing with another club. He’ll be scheduled for restricted free agency after the 2018 season and unrestricted free agency after the 2019 season.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.