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NFL Free Agency Profile: QB Jacoby Brissett

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By: Thomas Moore

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Browns are in the market for a veteran backup quarterback. Is a reunion with Jacoby Brissett in the cards?

The Cleveland Browns hit the jackpot in 2023 when they signed veteran quarterback Joe Flacco in late November.

Flacco, who had remained unsigned until the Browns came calling, caught fire and with “Flacco Fever” taking over the town helped lead Cleveland to the playoffs.

Those stories are the extreme exception in the NFL, however, and generally, if a team loses its starting quarterback for 11 games it rarely makes a playoff run.

But teams can get by for a very short period if they are forced to play their backup quarterback, especially if that player knows their limitations, has a grasp of the offensive system, and does not go out of their way to lose the game through silly mistakes.

Someone like quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is a free agent after spending one season with the Washington Commanders.


Jacoby Brissett, Quarterback


6-foot-4, 235 pounds

2023 Team

Washington Commanders


2023: 3 games, 78.3 completion percentage, 224 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 sacks, 146.8 quarterback rating

Career: 79 games, 61.3 completion percentage, 10,574 yards, 51 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 130 sacks, 85.3 quarterback rating

PFF Grade

2023: 84.6 (overall), 79.4 passing

3-year average grade: 81.2 (overall), 76.2 passing

2023 Contract

$3 million base salary, $8.5 million cap number, per Over the Cap

Fit with the Browns

If the Browns are looking for a “plug-and-play” quarterback to back up Deshaun Watson, then Brissett is perfectly positioned to be that player. The offense may be changing with the addition of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, but Brissett was solid enough while filling in for Watson in 2022 and knows enough of the basics of what the Browns want to do that a return to Cleveland would make some sense.

It was understandable that Brissett left in free agency a year ago as he wanted to have an opportunity to start and there was no way of knowing that Watson would only make it through six games due to injuries. Things did not work out in Washington – they rarely do – but Brissett still made the best of the situation, as The Athletic’s Ben Standig points out:

Brissett was remarkably efficient in relief of Sam Howell — leading touchdowns on five consecutive possessions — but that shouldn’t be the expectation. If Washington brings him back on a one- or two-year contract, he would mentor whichever rookie it drafts at No. 2.

Once he did receive a chance with the Commanders, Brissett showed that even an eight-year veteran can learn a thing or two, as Brad Spielberger at Pro Football Focus highlights:

Brissett should’ve had a nice runway to start a few games to close out the 2023 season, stepping up in Week 15 and cooking for an 8-of-10, 124-yard and two-touchdown stat line. Unfortunately, the journeyman was injured in Week 16 and missed the rest of the year. Brissett is a solid pocket passer who can stand in and take a hit. He showed improved pocket manipulation over his time in Cleveland and is a quarterback sneak savant.

Brissett may not be able to duplicate what Joe Flacco did for the Browns in 2023, but few backup quarterbacks can. But if the Browns find themselves in a situation where they need someone to step in for a game or two, they could do worse than Brissett.

Browns player signing could impact

Cleveland needs another quarterback on the roster so they are not forced to play Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the event that Deshaun Watson is injured. The roster hole is already there, so no matter which way they turn in free agency it will not displace anyone currently on the team.

How signing could impact the NFL Draft

The Browns picked up their future backup in last year’s draft by selecting Thompson-Robinson. Again, they need a third quarterback but that player needs to be a veteran. So unless there is a player they absolutely fall in love with late on Day 3 of the draft that would be a practice squad developmental quarterback, whatever they do in free agency will likely not impact their draft plans.


High: Cleveland has true playoff aspirations for the 2024 season and they can’t risk having DTR be the only option on the roster behind Watson. If they decide not to bring Flacco back they will need to sign a veteran quarterback in free agency.

Projected Contract

One year at $6.5 million, fully guaranteed, per PFF

What would you like to see the Browns do at quarterback this offseason? Join your fellow Browns fans in the comment section below to have your say.

Originally posted on Dawgs By Nature – All Posts