Cleveland Browns: 10 free agents Browns should target in 2019

Cleveland Browns Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Ryan Fitzpatrick (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

6. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB

The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback…a backup, that is!

Drew Stanton has a spot on the roster, but you saw him the preseason. You’ve got to ask yourself: Is he the guy you want who’s one snap away from playing?

From what’s been reported, Stanton has done wonders to mentor Baker Mayfield as the rookie adjusted to life in the NFL. It’s easy for fans to say that Stanton should become a quarterbacks coach. That won’t happen becuase it means taking a huge pay cut.

So with Stanton entrenched as the third quarterback on the roster, the Browns should make a play for free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’d be comfortable in the backup role and he’s more than capable of coming into a game, or starting for a couple weeks, while giving his team a chance to win.

The Fitzpatrick we saw last season with the Bucs is the same player we’d be getting in Cleveland.

When “Fitzmagic” is at its best, he’s throwing for 400 yards, which he did in four of his eight starts last season.

When things are bad, he’s 13-of-21 for 167 yards and three interceptions, which he was against the Giants in his last game action, Nov. 18.

Baker Mayfield looks pretty durable, and he’s not the run-first quarterback, a la Johnny Manziel, that some tried to make him out to be before the draft.

Mayfield constantly keeps his eyes downfield, looking for the big play.

So while his body appears willing and able to withstand the rigors of an entire NFL season, you just never know. It only takes one play for your season to be altered.

Which is why adding Fitzpatrick is better than any of the alternatives out there.

You may wonder why Teddy Bridgwater isn’t listed here.

Ultimatley, I think Bridgewater is going to look for opportunities to play, and there are other destinations that may be more favorable for a guy who’s trying to prove himself.

He’d be a great fit for Cleveland, but the Browns wouldn’t be all that ideal for Bridgewater.