All 38 Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterbacks Since 1999, Ranked Worst to Best

The good, the bad and the ugly all show up on the rankings of all 38 quarterbacks to have started a game for the Cleveland Browns since the franchise returned for the 1999 season.
Baker Mayfield and the other 37 quarterbacks the Browns have had since 1999, ranked.
Baker Mayfield and the other 37 quarterbacks the Browns have had since 1999, ranked. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Joe Flacco

It feels very, very wrong to be updating this article after the 2024 season (it was originally written before Week 1) and realize just how high Joe Flacco needs to be plugged in on the list. The guy made five regular and one playoff start, after all.

But he's the reason the Browns made the playoffs in a year that saw them roll out five different starters.

The Browns lost Flacco's first start, but they then ripped off a four-game win streak, scoring 20-plus points in each game to earn a playoff spot.

Flacco went 123-of-204 (60.3%) for 1,616 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. That put him just behind Watson for the team lead in completion percentage, but he did it while pushing the ball downfield in a way we hadn't seen all season.

1. Baker Mayfield

I know this sucks for a lot of Browns fans. I know a lot of you want to hate him. I know a lot of you are upset he didn't carry the Browns further. But if you read through the previous 33 entries, I really don't know how you can deny Baker Mayfield's ranking as the best Browns quarterback since 1999.

He may not have eclipsed 20,000 passing yards in Cleveland like Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar did in the 70's, 80's and 90's, but his 14,125 rank No. 3 in franchise history and No. 1 since 1999. Only Tim Couch (11,131) comes even close, and Mayfield has Couch beat by 2,994 yards in two fewer games.

Different eras, sure, but Mayfield ranked 17th, 14th and 17th in the NFL in passing over his first three seasons. Couch’s best ever ranking was 18th.

Baker led the Browns to our first 11-win season since 1994 and first playoff appearance since 2002. And that 48-37 Wild Card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is probably the greatest moment in Browns history to any fans who weren't watching before The Move. Baker was instrumental in that win too, throwing for 263 yards with 3 touchdowns and no picks.

There are a lot of ways to measure the best starting quarterback. You can do it on stats, which Baker wins. You can do it on team success, which Baker wins. And you can do it on that intangible "it."

Baker ultimately proved that he didn't have "it" for the long term, and he fizzled out. That's true. But for those first few years of his career, Mayfield gave the Browns fans the most hope they've had since the '90s, and just as importantly he helped elevate the Browns to be an organization that started to be taken seriously on the national stage.

I'm just as happy to laugh at his post-Browns misfortune as anyone, but I'm also going to give full respect to what he did in Cleveland.