What Qb Did The Browns Just Sign – As Baker Mayfield writhed in pain after re-injuring his previously dislocated left shoulder during the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the quarterback found himself in the midst of yet another unfortunate turn in a season that So far, nothing good has happened to any of them. or the team
This season was supposed to be the veteran’s fourth year breaking off a successful 2020 campaign, where he earned his first career playoff win. It should be the year he puts a talented Browns roster in the ranks of Super Bowl contenders. And this should be the season where Mayfield elevates his game to the ranks of elite passers and joins his contemporaries in securing long-term financial security.
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However, Mayfield’s play is thrown off balance by other young players in Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers and Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals. He took a hit and is nursing a torn labrum in his shoulder that will keep him out of Friday night’s game against Denver and may require offseason surgery to repair it. The Browns have a 3-3 record and trail the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. And Mayfield still has plenty of questions about his potential, which should leave the Browns in limbo.
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Instead of a year of growth and clarity, the Browns and their quarterback have so far remained in wait-and-see mode.
When Cleveland drafted Mayfield first in 2018, team officials viewed him as a long-awaited solution to the team’s defensive backlog. He believes Mayfield can give fans a reason to believe he’s taken the franchise to the top.
Mayfield has certainly brought some rare stability to Cleveland’s quarterback position. The past four seasons are the longest streak by a starting quarterback since Bernie Kausar took over in 1985.
The 6-1, 215-pound signal caller has yet to produce the same productive, game-changing performances as teammates like Mahomes, the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen and the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson.
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All three games have multiple playoff stages. Mahomes has multiple division titles and a Super Bowl title, and both he and Jackson have won NFL MVP. Meanwhile, Mayfield and the Browns haven’t finished higher than third in the division in the last three seasons.
It’s worth noting that Mayfield didn’t benefit from the same consistency that helped Mahomes, Allen and Jackson thrive. While all three have played under the same head coach and franchise power structure during their careers, Mayfield is the third head coach (not counting 2018 interim head coach Gregg Williams), second general manager and third offensive coordinator.
But Mayfield doesn’t have the same physical attributes as Mahomes, Allen and Jackson. He doesn’t show the same magic with the ball that Mahomes did, he can’t beat tacklers like Allen and he can’t beat defenders like Jackson.
But Mayfield has leadership skills, tenacity and unwavering confidence, and is good at extending plays and providing quick releases.
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The Browns are hoping Mayfield can continue to make the next leap this season, with second-year help under Kevin Stefanski and armed with plenty of weapons. But the results have been different.
He has a career best at 67.1% and another personal best at 97.8. However, Mayfield’s 245.7 passing yards per game ranks 20th in the NFL and he has thrown just six touchdown passes while throwing three interceptions. By comparison, Mahomes finished third with 314.5 yards while throwing for 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Allen is eighth with 287.2 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and three interceptions, and Jackson is ninth with 281 yards with nine touchdown passes and five picks.
Worse: Unlike those three, Mayfield hasn’t presented himself as someone who can’t be held accountable for his mistakes.
Except for last season, Mayfield has been more of a game manager than an offensive catalyst. When the game is on the line, the Chiefs, Ravens, Bills and opponents all know that the three quarterbacks will be asked to deliver in some way.
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In Week 1, Mayfield threw an interception while trying to lead the team late in the return game against the Chiefs.
Two weeks ago, with Cleveland leading the Chargers 42-41 with 2:55 left, instead of putting the game on Mayfield’s shoulders on third-and-9, Stefanski threw a tying pass to Kareem Hunt, who It was stopped from the first game, he called. Los Angeles would go on to score the game-winner in the following contest.
Mayfield certainly doesn’t deserve all the blame for the Browns’ inconsistencies. His season could have gotten off to a much better start if Cleveland hadn’t suffered a slew of injuries, including losing its top two receivers, starting offensive tackles and now both running backs.
The hope in the Browns organization is that others will help Mayfield. After Friday’s game, Cleveland doesn’t play again until Oct. 31 against the Pittsburgh Steelers for a key divisional game.
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Mayfield’s goal is to get back to Mayfield as soon as possible and put the team in the playoffs. A string of strong performances will also help make an impact in offseason contract negotiations. But for now, that’s secondary to Mayfield.
The evaluation for the future is far from over, and the Browns will continue to grapple with the question of how to manage their quarterback future. After picking up the fifth option on his rookie contract, Cleveland can technically wait until the end of the 2022 season to make that call.
Speculation that the Browns would sign another quarterback in Deshaun Watson that wasn’t always around became a reality when the club signed Josh Rosen. This news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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Cleveland signed first-round pick Josh Rosen to a one-year deal, sources said. Despite spending time with five other NFL teams, Rosen is only 25 years old, and those around him believe he’s ready to prove he belongs. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 21, 2022
Rosen was the 10th overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft, at the same time Cleveland selected Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. In Week 4, he was named the starting quarterback. After his rookie season, the Cardinals had the worst offense in the league, firing Byron Leftwich, OC coach Mike McCoy and QB coach.
Rosen finished his rookie campaign with a 3-10-0 record in 13 starts, 2,278 yards with 14 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. Arizona finished 3-13-0.
In the next draft, Arizona selected QB Kyler Murray first overall and sent Rosen to Miami for second and fifth round picks to start Ryan Fitzpatrick as the backup. In Week 3, Rosen was named the starter but was benched in Week 5. The following year, the Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in the first round.
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In the following training camp, Rosen was released. He was signed by Tampa Bay and placed on the practice squad. The San Francisco 49ers claimed he was insured late in the season due to injuries to QB Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullens.
As has happened before, the team traded a quarterback in the first round with Trey Lance and Rosen again. He was picked up by Atlanta and saw action in game one where he threw two picks.
Rosen was a standout player at UCLA, earning Player of the Year honors that year as well as a second-team All-Pac selection his junior year.
In his NFL career, Rosen has played in 24 games with 16 starts and has passed for 2,864 yards with 277 completions on 513 attempts, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions with a 61.1 QB rating.
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What’s strange about Rosen’s deal is the new scheme the Browns will be running.
Last year, Mayfield started the trio with Case Keenum and Mullens as backups. All of these players are considered pocket passers that open up when flushed.
With Watson, he’s clearly a QB. The backup they signed is Jacoby Brissett, who is also a quarterback. Josh Dobbs, another running back, backs up the signed reserves.
If Watson doesn’t see the field for the entire year, which has been speculated, or is suspended for at least eight games, one of them will have to take the reins and run the offense every week. Does it make sense to have a runner on a play and a pocket passer?
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