The Browns spent the No. 1 overall pick to draft Baker Mayfield, but GM John Dorsey hasn’t shut the door on Tyrod Taylor leading the team for several years.
Everyone in Cleveland wants to know how Baker Mayfield is performing in training camp. That’s all well and good, but the precocious rookie isn’t the Browns’ starter this season. That honor goes to Tyrod Taylor.
Most assume Taylor is just a one year stop-gap at quarterback for the franchise. Last year’s 0-16 campaign means the Browns need to win some games this season to placate their fans. That’s tough to do with a rookie signal caller at the helm. That’s precisely why the team moved to acquire Taylor from Buffalo this offseason.
If you’re inclined to believe Cleveland GM John Dorsey, Taylor has a chance to lead the offense for more than one season. He believes there is a distinct possibility that he may “call up” Taylor’s representatives in October to extend his deal beyond the 2018 campaign. Dorsey is adamant that wouldn’t be an indictment on Mayfield’s play, but that doesn’t ring true.
You don’t spend a No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback you expect to sit on the bench for multiple seasons. Frankly, Browns fans should start to worry if Mayfield doesn’t take Taylor’s job at some point this season. All bets are off if Cleveland somehow stays in the playoff race down the stretch, but otherwise Mayfield should absolutely get some game reps. Once this team starts to look ahead to next season, it will be imperative to give Mayfield some snaps if he can take them without embarrassing himself.
It’s possible Dorsey believes he can keep Taylor as a backup, but that seems overly optimistic as well. If he plays well for Cleveland for any stretch of time this season, he’ll be looking for a starting gig somewhere else in 2019. At the very least, he won’t accept a deal paying him backup money before he goes out and evaluates all of his options in the offseason.
Dorsey may actually believe that Taylor has a chance to be his starter for years to come, but the idea that could happen without it being a hugely negative statement about Mayfield is absolute fantasy. If Taylor is the starting quarterback from the Browns when the 2019 season begins, something has gone horribly wrong with either Mayfield’s health or his development. Either way, it wouldn’t be good for the Browns.