Everyone knows that the Browns quarterback situation is a mess. They have continued to search for a so-called franchise quarterback, only to fail miserably. I want to make it clear that I am not down on DeShone Kizer, but I think his lack of experience and lack of receiving talent around him doomed him to be the worst performer in the NFL this year. By far. The other guys on the roster are presumably even worse (Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler in the pre-season).
Typically, the Browns have been so fearful of "quarterback controversy" that they ALWAYS trade or cut the backup quarterback. So not only have they never had a long term solution at quarterback, they have also failed to identify a reliable backup.
The Steeler have Landy Jones as their backup, and he is in his fourth year. That's an inconceivably long time for the Browns. Prior to that, Charlie Batch backed up for NINE years. Unbelievable.
But consider this. Somehow there are eight backup quarterbacks in the NFL who are ex-Browns. Any one of them are better than Kizer, Kessler and Hogan. Without further ado, here is a list:
1. Brian Hoyer, New England Patriots, began the year as the 49ers' top guy, but displaced by Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Hoyer is good enough to back up Tom Brady, but not Johnny Manziel. Brian Hoyer's career record is 10-6, but that is not nearly good enough to hold a job in Cleveland, right? Not a franchise quarterback, so fire him.
2. Josh McCown has won 5 (count 'em, FIVE) games for the New York Jets. He had a good year for the Browns in 2015, but we had to cut him this year to keep Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler on the roster.
3. Colt McCoy is at Washington backing up Kirk Cousins. Colt went 6-15 for Cleveland, but he's done well when called upon.
4. Derek Anderson is still holding a clipboard at Carolina, where he has been for 7 years. As a Browns starter he went 16-18. He's good enough to back up Cam Newton, but not Brady Quinn.
5. Austin Davis also saw some starting duty in 2015. He is now backing up In his four year career, he's thrown 13 TDs versus 12 INTs. He is now Russell Wilson's backup.
6. Brandon Weeden is backing up in Tennessee now. He put up some good numbers in Dallas, but unfortunately did not create any "W"s.
7. Josh Johnson is now with the Houston Texans, taking Brock Osweiler's place. Josh didn't play much as the third string guy in Cleveland.
8. Brock Osweiler had a brief audition for the Browns in pre-season, and is not a part-time starter in Denver. Really, he came to the Browns as a way of trading salary cap for a draft pick. (we get a second round pick, but had to expend $16 M to eat his salary). He's not doing well.
Did I miss anyone?
None of these guys are considered to be "franchise quarterbacks," but that's an unfair comparison. The real comparison is whether any of them are better than the guys on the current roster. I would say yes. Definitely, with the benefit of hindsight all of the quarterbacks except Osweiler and maybe Josh Johnson would have started ahead of Kizer this year.