Cleveland Browns: Signs point to Drew Stanton backing up Baker Mayfield

There’s a glaring need the Cleveland Browns need to fill at the backup QB position, but could the front office believe the depth chart is just fine as it is?

The offseason is far from over, but as free agents fly off the market, it’s looking more and more likely the Cleveland Browns will back Baker Mayfield up with Drew Stanton.

The Athletic’s Zac Jackson addressed his confusion over the depth–or lack there of, in this instance–during a recent chat.

“Imagine letting one 2 week sprained ankle cost you the playoffs….I don’t get it, and the offseason is certainly far from over, but right now all signs — not just the on-record statements of Freddie and Dorsey — say that Stanton will be the No. 2. And I just think that’s really dangerous.”

If you’re a returning Factory of Sadness reader, you know full well how I feel about going into the regular season with Stanton as the backup. I advocated for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he’s since signed with the Miami Dolphins as a chance to start was too great to pass up.

It was a limited free-agent class to begin with, but Fitzpatrick would’ve been an intriguing addition because he was more than capable of coming off the bench, throwing for 350 yards and helping the Browns win two or three games in a row. You wouldn’t want to rest your franchise’s hopes on Fitz’s Magic, but you’d let it ride for a couple weeks, especially if the playoffs were on the line.

The current climate calls for the Browns to take some developmental prospect somewhere in the draft to serve as the No. 3 quarterback.

Stanton owns an 11-6 career record. He’s 9-4 dating back to 2014 with the Arizona Cardinals and Freddie Kitchens not he sidelines. But he’s completed just 52.9 percent of his passes. He’s thrown for 20 touchdowns against 24 interceptions. If Baker Mayfield gets hurt, the Browns season is likely over.

At least the former Michigan State product knows Kitchen’s offense, and his impact on Mayfield as a mentor shouldn’t be cast aside.

His most action came as a starter for the Cardinals during the 2014 season. Arizona found its quarterback room turned upside down after a couple injuries to Carson Palmer that season. The former No. 1 overall pick started just six games, and re-tore his ACL in November.

Filling in for Palmer in Weeks 2-5, Stanton started three games and failed to complete at least 49 percent of his passes in two of those three contests (He made one start after a Bye). He was better after Palmer was lost for the season, completing at least 60 percent of his throws in three of his next five starts.

An injury cost him the opportunity to start in the playoffs for the Cardinals though, as Ryan Lindley, who just so happens to be a Browns assistant coach, got the nod from then head coach Bruce Arians.

Next: Browns: On OBJ going dark, Shurmur speaks

Basically, Stanton was OK and he did did steer the ship toward the playoffs after Palmer’s injury. With that said, the year was 2014. Seems like a different lifetime ago (The Johnny Draft was that long ago!?). Stanton’s 34 now. It’s just too risky to have him be one snap away.

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