Browns QB Proposed as Fit for AFC North Rival in Free Agency

Deshaun Watson

Getty Images Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett of the Cleveland Browns.

Jacoby Brissett will likely be wearing different colors next season after a successful stint as the fill-in starter for the Cleveland Browns but he may not have to leave the division as he searches for his next opportunity.

Brissett has been pitched as an option for the Pittsburgh Steelers, which would reunite him with his offensive coordinator from college, Matt Canada. Brissett was dubbed as a name to watch for the Steelers by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.

“Brissett is familiar with the Steelers system because he played at North Carolina State (2013-2015) when Matt Canada was the offensive coordinator there,” Dulac wrote. “Also, Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulker and receivers coach Frisman Jackson were members of that staff.”

The problem with the fit is that Brissett wouldn’t be the starter, with the Steelers going with 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett as their QB1. Brissett has been very open that he feels that he can still be a starter in the NFL and he’ll likely pick a spot in free agency where he can at least compete for the top spot atop the depth chart.

“I’m a starting quarterback in this league—I can confidently say that,” Brissett said at the end of his 11-game stint with the Browns. “Hopefully, a team turns on the tape, and they watch and they see that.”

Brissett Praised for Leadership With Browns

Brissett outplayed expectations despite his 4-7 record as the starter. He completed 64% of his passes for 2,608 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

But more importantly, he was a leader for the Browns during a very tumultuous year, building a tremendous reputation within the locker room.

“He’s just a great dude,” Stefanski told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I mean, that’s the simple answer. He’s very engaging. He’s very, very intelligent. He’s extremely supportive. I gave him a game ball after the game just because he’s a team guy. He’s such a great teammate, and it’s all the things that nobody sees that he does in the locker room.

“After-hours calling, texting guys video clips of plays. Those go unnoticed. Not by me, but those can go unnoticed. Well, I should say, they don’t go unnoticed by me or his teammates. And he’s just a truly supportive person. I spend a ton of time with him, and I don’t know that I’ve been around a better teammate in my time.”

Browns Investigating Their Backup Options

With Brissett likely moving on, the Browns will have to shore up their own quarterback room beyond Deshaun Watson. Kellen Mond is an option that will be on the roster but general manager Andrew Berry has not been shy to spend on a veteran backup — whether that be Brissett or Case Keenum before him.

Watson is the future in Cleveland but he’ll look to turn things around after knocking off the rust in his six games last season.

The Browns went 3-3 in his starts, showing glimpses of his Pro Bowl form but completed 58.2% of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.

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