In this series, Cleveland Sports Talk writers will take a further look and investigate the Browns position groups. We will be looking into factors like contracts and production as well as others to determine who will remain with the team and who will continue their journey elsewhere. So without further ado, I present…the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks:
First, we will examine Baker Mayfield who appears the most obvious quarterback to return in 2019. The former first overall pick is just 23 years old and was handed the keys to the franchise in Week 4. Mayfield passed for 3,725 yards (team rookie record) and 27 TDs (NFL rookie record). The future team captain signed a four-year deal worth $32.6 million which is fully guaranteed. There is also an option for a fifth year, which I would expect to be exercised if a contract extension couldn’t get done.
Next up, we have Tyrod Taylor who is a bit of a wild card. The eight year veteran signed a two year, $30.5 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. After ending their playoff drought, the Bill’s traded the quarterback to the Browns. He was brought to Cleveland initially to be the leader to turn this franchise around. Instead he found himself sustaining a concussion and losing his starting job to a rookie.
Taylor is still a serviceable quarterback and will be an unrestricted free agent once the 2019 season officially begins. Some teams like the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars may be in the quarterback market, so Taylor may get some appealing offers. Cleveland paid him $16 million in 2018 and I don’t expect him to be back with that price tag. If Taylor remains in Cleveland, it will be as a backup and under a more team-friendly contract.
Last, but not least, is Drew Stanton. He has been a complete professional since he first put on a Browns uniform. Stanton was expected to be a player-coach to help mentor Baker Mayfield and he has gladly played that role. Cleveland paid the 12-year veteran $3.2 million in 2018 and if he remains on the roster, he will collect another $2.7 million. It is a realistic expectation that Stanton will remain a Cleveland Brown next season.