Plenty of optimism surrounds Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor for 2018 but what about beyond this upcoming season?
Without a quarterback, a team will have a very hard time to win a game. No organization can relate to that more than the Cleveland Browns.
Following the move to trade a third rounder to the Buffalo Bills for Tyrod Taylor and signing Drew Stanton, Cleveland drafted Baker Mayfield first overall. Now, it appears on paper that the future is bright at quarterback for the Browns.
However, Cleveland has seen this movie play out before. On the other hand, the difference is that Taylor is not expected to turn Cleveland around overnight. Until his play and others are seen during meaningful downs, Cleveland has not achieved anything yet.
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Given Taylor’s background though, it should be a matter of when progress is going to be seen. The Browns need to win and Taylor can do that. Unfortunately, he has not achieved a large number of wins in a given year as the most he has won in a single season is eight.
Assuming Hue Jackson does not have a change of heart, Taylor is going to be the starter this season and as he does we will see how close Taylor can get to eight again. As preparations are made for Taylor to start for his new team, his role is in-tact for 2018.
Beyond the upcoming season could be a different case.
Today’s NFL is not like it was 10 or more years ago when quarterbacks sit and learn. According to spotrac, Taylor is due $16 million this season in the last year of his deal.
With that in mind, if Taylor struggles, would he be willing to take a significant pay cut to back up Mayfield? Would Cleveland be inclined to re-sign Taylor at a lower number if he does a solid job to start again while sitting Mayfield again in 2019?
Or, knowing that he has done well in Buffalo, is Taylor planning on springboarding to another team regardless of how he does in Cleveland? After all, Mayfield, not Taylor is the future for the Browns.
There is plenty of uncertainty about how long and in what role Taylor will have in Cleveland. Of those hypotheticals, it would be great to see Taylor remain in Cleveland at a lower number with Mayfield starting.
However, moving onto a new team in 2019 may actually be the most likely as of now.
Whether Taylor is a Brown for just one season or many, Taylor is going to win as much as he can in 2018. While doing so, he is set to put the quarterback position and the Browns overall in a position to succeed in the years to come.
Regardless of how long Taylor is in Cleveland, his influence on their new foundation will be the most impactful thing he can do for the team.