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Browns sign QB Josh Rosen

Uncertainty of the quarterback room a concern

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The speculation that the Browns would sign yet another quarterback in the uncertainly surrounding Deshaun Watson became a reality when the club inked journeyman Josh Rosen. The news was first broken by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Rosen was the 10th overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL draft, the same in which Cleveland selected Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. By Week 4 he was named the starting quarterback. After his rookie season, the Cardinals were ranked the league’s worst offense to which OC Mike McCoy plus QB coach Byron Leftwich were fired.

Rosen finished his rookie campaign with a 3-10-0 record with 13 starts, 2,278 passing yards with 14 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. Arizona finished 3-13-0.

In the following draft, Arizona selected QB Kyler Murray first overall and shipped Rosen to Miami for a second and fifth round pick to backup their starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. In Week 3, Rosen was inserted as the starter but in Week 5 he was benched. The next year the Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in the first round.

The following training camp, Rosen was released. He was signed by Tampa Bay who placed him on the practice squad. The San Francisco 49ers claimed him as insurance towards season’s end with injuries to their QB’s Jimmy Garoppolo and backup Nick Mullens.

As has been the case, that team drafted a quarterback in the first round with Trey Lance and Rosen was once again waived. He was picked up by Atlanta and saw action in a single game in which he tossed two picks.

Rosen was a standout at UCLA where he was named the freshman offensive Player of the Year plus was selected Second Team All-Pac 12 his junior year.

For his NFL career, Rosen has played in 24 games with 16 starts, passed for 2,864 yards with 277 completions on 513 attempts, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions with a QB rating of 61.1.

What seems a bit odd about the signing of Rosen is the new scheme the Browns seem to be going towards.

Last year it was Mayfield with Case Keenum and Mullens as backups in which all three had starts. All of these players are considered pocket passers who will run when flushed.

Rosen is a pocket passer.

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With Watson, he is clearly a running QB. The backup signed is Jacoby Brissett who is also a running quarterback. The backup to the backup signed is Josh Dobbs, another runner.

If Watson does not see the field at all this year, which has been speculated, or has a suspension of at least eight games, one of these guys will have to take the wheel and propel this offense each week. Does it make sense to have a runner one game and a pocket passer the next?

So far Brissett has been getting a lot of first team reps in the various camps the Browns have had. The team is impressed with Watson and his playing ability, which can be considered to be Top-5 in the league. Brissett appears to be the starter if Watson cannot play.

Rosen is just 25 years old. He is clearly a backup guy to which everywhere he goes the team takes another quarterback in the first round to replace him. His only relevance to date was his rookie year with Arizona.

If would seem that the Browns expect Watson to have a lengthy suspension and are wanting their QB room to be full of players who have already absorbed the playbook. The top quarterback names for other options for Rosen’s role were Fitzpatrick (officially retired), Mike Glennon, A.J. McCarron, Cam Newton and former Brown Garrett Gilbert.