Cleveland Browns Rumors: Team Would Pursue Tyrod Taylor In Free Agency If Buffalo Bills Cut Him

The Cleveland Browns have been in search of a franchise quarterback ever since the franchise was reborn in 1999. In that time period, the Browns have gone through 26 starting quarterbacks and Derek Anderson is the only quarterback to make the Pro Bowl as he was named to the team in 2007.

In 2016, Cleveland was forced to shuffle through three starting quarterbacks as the team suffered through a number of injuries at the position. Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, and Cody Kessler all took snaps under center for head coach Hue Jackson, but the results were less than inspiring as the Browns went 1-15.

Because of their poor season, the Browns hold the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. While quarterback is obviously the team’s biggest need, there isn’t a signal caller in the upcoming class that would warrant consideration with the top pick in the upcoming draft.

Bleacher Report‘s Matt Miller has North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky rated as the No. 1 quarterback in the upcoming class, but he has the Tar Heels quarterback as the No. 16 overall player in his most recent rankings. With many holes on the roster, the Browns can’t really afford to reach for a quarterback at the top of the draft.

One way of thinking is that the Browns could take someone like Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett at No. 1 and then possibly take Mitch Trubisky or Clemson’s Deshaun Watson at No. 12 overall which Cleveland got from the Philadelphia Eagles last year in the trade that allowed the Eagles to move up and select North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz.

While that’s certainly a plausible solution, there’s also a possibility that the Browns will spend all of their draft picks strengthening the rest of the roster and then find a quarterback via trade or free agency.

Former Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots executive Mike Lombardi brought up the possibility of the two teams working out a deal to send Jimmy Garoppolo to Cleveland back in December.

“The next quarterback that’ll be the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback perhaps is Jimmy Garoppolo in New England,” Lombardi said, via the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I think Cleveland understands, [coach] Hue Jackson specifically understands he needs a quarterback. I think they’ll be very aggressive. I think Jimmy Garoppolo’s on top of their list, and I think they’ll go hard after him.”

On Tuesday, another quarterback’s name was announced as a potential option for the Cleveland Browns and that is the Buffalo Bills’ Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor’s contract allows for the Bills to cut him this offseason and save themselves a ton of money, and it seems to be even more likely to happen after Buffalo fired head coach Rex Ryan. New head coach Sean McDermott and the team’s new offensive coordinator could decide that they want someone else to run the show instead of being attached at the hip with Taylor.

While Taylor was unable to lead the Bills to the playoffs in either of his two seasons as the starting quarterback, he put up very good numbers and wasn’t the reason the team fell short of the postseason. In 2015, Tyrod completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,035 yards with 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Taylor also added 568 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Last season, Tyrod Taylor completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 3,023 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions and added 580 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. While those certainly aren’t eye-popping numbers, Taylor played in a run-heavy system in Buffalo and did a nice job of managing the game and protecting the football.

The Cleveland Browns could do a lot worse than having Tyrod Taylor at quarterback heading into the 2017 NFL Season.

[Featured Image by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]