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Browns quarterback timeline: Every starting QB for Cleveland since 1999, from Tim Couch to Baker Mayfield

There are quarterback factories, after which there’s the manufacturing facility of unhappiness. By some means, the Browns {manage} to be each.

The Browns have been looking for a solution to the quarterback place since Bernie Kosar walked the streets of the ‘Land. They’ve had loads of alternatives to seek out The Man, however have come up empty at nearly each flip.

Whether or not it was first-round picks Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Tim Sofa or Baker Mayfield, veteran passers or former first-round picks, there’s been no scarcity of choices for Cleveland. 

This offseason, Cleveland brass thought they’d gotten a solution on the QB spot after buying and selling for (and increasing) Deshaun Watson. Watson’s authorized points, although, have solid some aspersions as as to if or not he’ll be that man, too. Now, Watson is about to serve a six-game suspension to open the 2022 season.

MORE: Browns QB choices — Who may Browns decide after Watson suspension?

With former No. 1 total decide Baker Mayfield gone, Watson’s standing with the league unclear and Jacoby Brissett seemingly in line to take QB1 snaps this coaching camp, here is a glance again in any respect Browns beginning QBs since 1999, here is a prolonged reminder of simply how dangerous the Browns’ scenario has been during the last twenty years.

Browns beginning quarterbacks timeline


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Tim Sofa (14 begins)

Sofa was drafted No. 1 total in 1999, the 12 months the Browns got here again into existence after just a few years out of the league. He’d stay the starter for 4 years.

Ty Detmer (2 begins)

Detmer bookended the season, beginning the primary sport in 1999 and the final sport that very same season, changing an injured Sofa.


Tim Sofa (7 begins)

Doug Pederson (8 begins)

Spergon Wynn (1 begin)

Doug Pederson changed an injured Sofa, who had a damaged thumb. Pederson would himself go down with an harm, being changed by Spergon Wynn for a begin.


Tim Sofa (16 begins)

All 16 begins within the 2001 season got here courtesy of the previous No. 1 total decide. It could be the primary and final time Sofa would end the season with all 16 begins underneath his belt.


Tim Sofa (14 begins)

Kelly Holcomb (2 begins)

Holcomb would begin the primary two video games of the season. Sofa would begin the remaining 14, however break his leg within the last sport of the season, resulting in Holcomb beginning a playoff sport vs. the Steelers. 


Tim Sofa (8 begins)

Kelly Holcomb (8 begins)

Holcomb would change Sofa as starter in 2003, resulting in the top of the Sofa period. Throughout 62 video games, Sofa would begin 59, throwing 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions between 1999 and 2003.



Jeff Garcia (10 begins)

Luke McCown (4 begins)

Kelly Holcomb (2 begins)

Garcia was signed to a four-year, $25 million deal, however would solely play a single 12 months with Cleveland. Garcia, of 49ers fame, changed Holcomb as starter after the primary two video games of the season. It did not go properly — the Browns completed 4-12.


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Trent Dilfer (11 begins)

Charlie Frye (5 begins)

Lastly, the Browns have a Tremendous Bowl-winning quarterback.

Dilfer was traded to the Browns through the offseason to mentor rookie passer Charlie Frye, who was chosen within the third spherical of the 2005 NFL Draft. Dilfer, although, had points with offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon, resulting in Frye beginning the final 5 video games of the 2005 season. It could be Dilfer’s solely 12 months in Cleveland.


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Charlie Frye (13 begins)

Derek Anderson (3 begins)

After a considerably encouraging finish to the 2005 season, Frye was named starter in 2006. He would miss three video games with a wrist harm, opening the door for Derek Anderson’s NFL debut. Anderson was a sixth-round decide of the Ravens the season prior.


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Derek Anderson (15 begins)

Charlie Frye (1 begin)

Nicely, that did not take lengthy: Simply minutes into the primary sport of the 2007 season, Frye was benched and changed by Derek Anderson. Frye was then traded to the Seahawks following the sport for a sixth-round decide.

Anderson would take the reins and begin 15 video games for the Browns the rest of the season. Rookie first-round decide Brady Quinn would see minimal motion.


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Derek Anderson (9 begins)

Brady Quinn (3 begins)

Ken Dorsey (3 begins)

Bruce Gradkowski (1 begin)

That is the place the enjoyable (or ache) begins. 

There are QB carousels after which there’s what occurred with the 2008 Browns, beginning 4 totally different passers through the season. Plenty of that was as a consequence of harm: Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey and Derek Anderson all ended the season on IR. Earlier than that, although, Anderson was benched in favor of Quinn, who was then benched in favor of Anderson. Quinn would then miss the rest of the season with a finger harm. Quickly after, Anderson would undergo an MCL harm and miss the season. 

Dorsey, who would begin three of the ultimate 4 video games, would undergo a concussion, resulting in Bruce Gradkowski beginning the ultimate sport of the 2008 season.


Brady Quinn (9 begins)

Derek Anderson (7 begins)

The carousel continued in 2009, this time underneath head coach Eric Mangini. Wishy-washy performances by each Quinn and Anderson led to some depth chart shake-ups. Finally, Quinn would win the job however be positioned on IR close to the top of the season. 


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Colt McCoy (8 begins)

Jake Delhomme (4 begins)

Seneca Wallace (4 begins)

New 12 months, new QBs for the Browns: Cleveland would draft McCoy, signing Delhomme and Wallace as properly. However accidents to each veteran passers thrust McCoy right into a beginning function.


Colt McCoy (13 begins)

Seneca Wallace (3 begins)

With Delhomme out of the fold, McCoy obtained his subsequent alternative to start out in 2011, {playing} simply above backup degree earlier than a concussion ended his season. McCoy’s head harm could be essentially the most notable factor to return from a Browns passer within the final 20 years, contemplating the controversy surrounding his re-entry right into a Week 14 sport. It was the primary 12 months of the NFL’s new concussion protocol, and a few have been skeptical over the Browns’ determination to permit him to re-enter the sport.


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Brandon Weeden (15 begins)

Thaddeus Lewis (1 begin)

Drafting a 28-year-old quarterback is so definitively Browns. 

A second-round MLB Draft decide by the Yankees in 2002, Weeden spent years within the minors earlier than enrolling at Oklahoma State to play soccer and changing into the Browns’ first-round decide in 2012.

Weeden would begin nearly all of the season, lacking solely the ultimate sport of the 12 months with a shoulder harm. In his place, journeyman Thaddeus Lewis would begin, making his solely begin with the Browns.


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Jason Campbell (8 begins)

Brandon Weeden (5 begins)

Brian Hoyer (3 begins)

Accidents to Weeden and backup Brian Hoyer led to former first-round decide Jason Campbell making nearly all of the begins in 2013. It wasn’t simply harm, although: Weeden’s poor efficiency solid doubts over whether or not or not he’d be Cleveland’s passer of the long run. Because it seems, he wasn’t: He was launched following the 2013 season after simply two years with the workforce.


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Brian Hoyer (13 begins)

Johnny Manziel (2 begins)

Connor Shaw (1 begin)

One other 12 months, one other first-round quarterback: The Browns chosen sparkplug Johnny Manziel within the first spherical of the 2014 NFL Draft, with “Johnny Soccer” changing into “Johnny Cleveland.” 

However, he had certainly one of Cleveland’s personal in the best way: Brian Hoyer made 13 begins in 2013, holding Manziel on the bench for almost all of the season. Manziel would play simply two video games, touchdown on IR to finish the season with a hamstring harm.

Making an look within the season finale was undrafted free agent QB Connor Shaw. It was the one motion Shaw ever had within the NFL.



Josh McCown (8 begins)

Johnny Manziel (6 begins)

Austin Davis (2 begins)

One other 12 months of accidents to the Browns starters led to extra shuffling: Josh McCown, named the workforce’s starter, would take a majority of the video games through the season, with Manziel taking spot begins and in the end being named starter.

The 2015 season could be Manziel’s final in brown and orange, and the workforce launched him following the season. Manziel would by no means play one other snap within the NFL.

Austin Davis would additionally make begins forward of Manziel in 2015, together with the season finale.


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Cody Kessler (8 begins)

Robert Griffin III (5 begins)

Josh McCown (3 begins)

The Browns saved up their custom of discovering former first-round picks to start out for them, turning to ex-Washington first-rounder Robert Griffin III after the failed tenure of Johnny Manziel.

RGIII would begin all 5 video games he would play in, lacking a piece of the season whereas on IR with a shoulder harm. Cody Kessler, a third-round select of USC, would see sport time after backup Josh McCown was injured.

The Browns would find yourself with the No. 1 total choice within the 2017 NFL Draft.


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DeShone Kizer (15 begins)

Kevin Hogan (1 begin)

One other quarterback room makeover for the Browns resulted in successful one much less sport in 2017 than they did in 2016. They completed 1-15 in 2017.

Sadly, Notre Dame product and rookie passer DeShone Kizer has to put on the large label of going 0-15, with Stanford passer Kevin Hogan beginning a single sport mid-season.

The winless Browns would maintain the No. 1 total decide for the second consecutive season. There was lastly, possibly, presumably, a lightweight on the finish of the tunnel.



Baker Mayfield (13 begins)

Tyrod Taylor (3 begins)

Baker Mayfield was taken No. 1 total within the 2018 draft. The heralded 2018 draft class, which featured Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson was led by Baker Mayfield going No. 1 total.

Veteran passer Tyrod Taylor would get the preliminary nod because the workforce’s starter, {playing} the primary three video games of the season. He was injured within the Week 4 matchup vs. the Jets, resulting in Mayfield getting his first motion of his profession. He would lead the Browns to a comeback win, and finish Cleveland’s 19-game winless streak.

Mayfield would stay the starter for the remainder of the season.

The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past.


Baker Mayfield (16 begins)

“Quarterback continuity” aren’t two phrases that Browns followers are accustomed to, even to this present day. However for multiple season, Mayfield was the man at quarterback. 

Beneath Freddie Kitchens, although, the Browns went 6-10, resulting in Kitchens’ firing after the season. 


Baker Mayfield (16 begins)

This time, underneath new head coach Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield appeared to be on the ascent. He began all 16 video games, throwing 26 touchdowns to eight interceptions, serving to lead Cleveland to an 11-5 document and a playoff victory over division rival Pittsburgh.

Issues have been trying up. Till…


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Baker Mayfield (14 begins)

Case Keenum (2 begins)

Nick Mullens (1 begin)

Mayfield battled by way of a number of accidents in 2021, however would solely miss a handful of video games as a starter. A pair of shoulder accidents on his non-throwing arm and a foot ailment derailed his season, however he’d nonetheless begin 14 video games. 

Veteran starter and backup Case Keenum would take the reins for Mayfield in a matchup vs. the Broncos and the ultimate sport of the season. Nick Mullens would additionally make a spot begin, changing each Mayfield and Keenum, who landed on the COVID record.

By all of it, Cleveland struggled to an 8-9 document within the wake of assorted accidents to skill-position gamers and an uneven 12 months from Mayfield himself. Then, they traded him to Carolina.


With coaching camps open throughout the NFL, the Browns must make due with out Deshaun Watson for numerous video games this season. That would result in Jacoby Brissett to start out: He’d be the thirty fifth beginning quarterback for Cleveland since 1999. 

But when historical past tells us something, you must most likely anticipate QBs No. 36, 37 and 38 to make their appearances this 12 months, too.

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