Despite Tyrod Taylor reportedly set to clear concussion protocol this week, the Cleveland Browns will name Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback for Week 4.
The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reported Browns coach Hue Jackson will name Mayfield the starter after the team reports to Berea on Monday. Jackson, it seems, wants to discuss his decision with the two quarterbacks, and his team, before making the inevitable new reality official.
“I think that you guys all feel good about where things are headed, so let’s just wait and see and go from there,’’ Jackson said during a Friday afternoon conference call.
Mayfield will become the 30th Browns starting quarterback—14th since 2012—since the organization re-entered the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1999.
Not to bring up bad memories, but here’s a chronological list of the 29 who came before him:
Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey, Brady Quinn, Bruce Gradkowski, Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan, and Tyrod Taylor.
Since 1999, the rest of the rest of AFC North has had just 35 combined starters—nine for the Bengals, 10 for the Steelers, and 16 for the Ravens. And since 2012, the rest of the division collectively has started only 11 different quarterbacks—the Steelers have had five, the Ravens had four, and the Bengals have had only two.
It’s too early to tell whether the Browns have finally found stability at the league’s most important position, but the early signs are more than encouraging. The charismatic rookie signal-caller has a different feel to him than the names on that lengthy list, despite some admittedly having some pretty encouraging moments.
Mayfield will lead the Browns to California next weekend to take on the winless Oakland Raiders. A win there would vault the Browns into the unfamiliar position of a positive win percentage and give them a legitimate shot to contend in the division standings.