CLEVELAND — The Browns made it official and announced the signing of quarterback Jacoby Brissett today. With Deshaun Watson's status this season still to be determined by the NFL pending the allegations made against him, Brissett could see a lot of playing time this season for the Browns.
“Jacoby is a vet and with that he brings a lot of valuable experience to not just our QB room, but to our whole team," head coach Kevin Stefanski said in a statement released by the team. "He is a smart, tough, competitor who knows the work it takes to win in this league. The backup quarterback position is one that is extremely valuable. They need to stay sharp in the meeting room and on the practice field and be ready at a moment’s notice. Jacoby is a pro and has proven to be efficient when called upon. I am excited about bringing him to our team.”
What led up to this
The Cleveland Browns made moves in the quarterback room last Saturday, trading veteran backup Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2022 seventh-round pick and agreeing to terms with Brissett.
The trade and signing come just a day after the team agreed to terms with the Houston Texans to trade for Watson.
After pushing for Watson, starting quarterback Baker Mayfield requested a trade from the Browns—a request the team did not plan to accommodate before acquiring Watson but will now move forward with.
The Watson deal left many thinking Keenum would remain on the team this season to serve as a backup for Watson, who is facing a possible suspension stemming from 22 civil lawsuits filed by women alleging sexual misconduct. Some of the women in the lawsuit allege Watson exposed himself, purposely touched their hands with his genitals, or forcefully tried to kiss them and perform other sexual acts during separate massage sessions.
While a grand jury's decision to not indict Watson meant no criminal charges for the quarterback at the moment, new evidence could be presented to the grand jury to change that as his depositions continue. In addition to the legal battle ahead of him, Watson also faces possible discipline by the NFL, which could include suspension. That remains to be seen.
“Any transaction would have no effect on the NFL’s ongoing and comprehensive investigation of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson. Nor would it affect his status under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy. If the league’s investigation determines that Watson violated the Personal Conduct Policy, discipline may be imposed pursuant to the policy and the CBA,” an NFL spokesperson said.
Keenum's trade left a need for a backup quarterback on the Browns roster.
Brissett was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Over the course of his six seasons in the league, Brissett has spent time on the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and most recently the Miami Dolphins.
In his time in the league, Brissett has played in 60 games, starting in 37, while recording 727 completions for 7,742 yards and 36 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. Last season with the Dolphins, Brissett played in 11 games, starting in five—completing 141 of his 225 pass attempts for 1,283 yards and five touchdowns while throwing four total interceptions.
Brissett has been a backup for quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Tua Tagovailoa.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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