Surprise Big-Name QB Emerges as Joe Flacco Replacement

The Cleveland Browns are among the teams interested in former New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Update (11 a.m. ET): The Browns are now nearing a deal with Jameis Winston to serve as Deshaun Watson's main backup.

The Cleveland Browns will likely be in the market for a backup quarterback this offseason despite having Deshaun Watson. Cleveland had a lot of guys under center last season, as Watson, PJ Walker, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Joe Flacco, and Jeff Driskel all played.

Flacco stood out the most as he helped the Browns down the stretch and got them into the playoffs. All signs pointed to Flacco re-signing with the Browns heading into free agency.

However, the Browns have their eyes set on another veteran quarterback, who could be the perfect backup if Watson were to miss time with injury this season.

Browns Rumors: Jameis Winston on Cleveland’s Radar to Backup Deshaun Watson

Mary Kat Cabot of reported Monday night that the Browns are “strongly considering” signing Jameis Winston instead of Flacco.

Cabot adds that the Browns had their eye on Jacoby Brissett, who signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots. The Browns writer also wrote that Winston is close to Watson and that the two QBs “would work very well together.”

That being said, Cleveland isn’t the only team interested in potentially signing Winston. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported Tuesday that the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants have shown preliminary interest in the former New Orleans Saints quarterback.

Winston spent the last four seasons in the Big Easy, starting in 10 out of 21 games. The vet quarterback completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,367 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

The Browns reportedly didn’t want to spend as much as $8 million on the QB2 spot, per Cabot, which is what Brissett got from the Patriots. Therefore, one has to wonder how much the Browns would give to Winston if they were to bring him aboard.

With Brissett, Tyrod Taylor, and Sam Darnold already off the board, the backup QB market is starting to pick up the steam, and Cleveland must decide which route they want to take next season.

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