Browns Work Out Pair of QBs Ahead of Deshaun Watson Ruling

Kevin Stefanski

Getty Images Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

The Cleveland Browns are set to work out a pair of veteran quarterbacks in Josh Rosen and AJ McCarron ahead of the start of training camp next week.

The Browns have been in the market for another quarterback and would like to enter camp with four quarterbacks on the roster. Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs are the three quarterbacks currently on the roster. Uncertainty still remains on Watson’s availability for this season as the Browns await a decision from NFL and NFL Players Association’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson.

The QB workouts were first reported by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who appeared to hint that other passers could also be coming in to be looked at by the Browns.

“The Cleveland Browns are working out quarterbacks this week, including veterans A.J. McCarron and Josh Rosen,” Fowler tweeted. “Cleveland looking to go to training camp with four quarterbacks, with Jacoby Brissett to be the QB1 depending what happens with Deshaun Watson’s status.”

He added: “Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett could essentially be QB1s to start camp, but the larger point is the Browns will get Brissett ready to play. Lot of this up in air with no clarity yet on how much time Watson might miss.”

Rosen, McCarron Have Been Around the Block in NFL

After being selected by the Cardinals with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Rosen has failed to find a long-term home in the NFL. He’s played for five different teams since being drafted, most recently backing up Matt Ryan in Atlanta.

Rosen went 3-10 as the starter in Arizona as a rookie, tossing 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He was replaced by Kyler Murray the following year and has been on the move ever since.

Rosen got the gig with the Falcons last season after McCarron went down with a torn ACL in the preseason. Like Rosen, McCarron has bounced around the league. He has stints with the Bengals, Raiders, Texans and Falcons on his resume, starting three games with Cincinnati as a rookie back in 2015. He tossed six touchdowns and two interceptions during those contests while completing 66.4% of his passes.

Browns Committed to Brissett if Watson is Out

Kevin Stefanski: A challenging day, but a good day's work | Cleveland BrownsHead Coach Kevin Stefanski talks to the media following day one of Mandatory Minicamp from the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. #BrownsMedia #pressconference2022-06-14T17:33:03Z

If Watson is handed a suspension of any length, it appears clear that Brissett would be first in line for the starting gig.

“I do have confidence in Jacoby,” Stefanski said on June 14 at mandatory minicamp “He has played a lot of football for a young player. He is a smart player. He takes care of the football. Good size, can make all of the throws and those type of things. He has been in multiple offenses. Our offense is a little bit different than what he has done previously but has a really, really good understanding of football – football intelligence that is – so I just think he is a really good operator.”

Brissett will turn 30 this season and has put up 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions over his career. He’s 14-23 as a starter in the NFL, although he hasn’t been placed in the most accommodating of situations.

The Browns appear more adamant about adding some competition for the third spot on the depth chart, which would bump up to the primary backup if Watson is sidelined. The Browns currently have Joshua Dobbs penciled in for that role. Dobbs, a former Steeler, has completed just 10-of-17 career pass attempts for 45 yards and one interception.

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