Done Deal: Just In Cleveland Browns Confirm To Agree Deal To Sign Another Top NFL QB

Jameis Winston Joins Cleveland Browns As New Backup QB
When the 2018 season began, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker, the Cleveland Browns’ backup quarterbacks behind Deshaun Watson, were deemed acceptable by team management despite their lack of NFL experience. It was Thompson-Robinson’s first time. Between 2020 and 2023, Walker started seven games for the Carolina Panthers. In those seven games, he threw five touchdown passes, 11 interceptions, and was sacked eighteen times.

That appeared to be a somewhat light quarterback room in terms of resume for a team like the Browns, who considered themselves Super Bowl hopefuls. The majority of clubs in contention favor using seasoned veterans as their backup quarterbacks. Since 2020, Watson had not completed a season as a starting quarterback for a team, and his Cleveland backups lacked considerable NFL experience.

The Browns’ initial season-opening choice to not sign an experienced backup quarterback eventually caught up with them when Watson sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Cleveland’s ninth game.

Cleveland ended up starting five different quarterbacks in the 2023 campaign as a result. Kevin Stefanski, the two-time NFL Coach of the Year, was remarkably still able to bring the Browns into the playoffs, albeit for a very short while as Houston easily defeated them 45-14 in the wildcard round.


That encounter might have served as the catalyst for the Browns’ prompt action to replenish their quarterback room for 2024. They added Tyler Huntley to their practice squad and signed free agent Jameis Winston.

Winston’s signing is noteworthy because Watson has only started 12 of the 34 games the Browns have played since acquiring him in a 2022 trade with Houston due to injuries and a suspension.
Tampa Bay selected the 30-year-old with the first overall choice in the 2015 NFL draft. Winston played for New Orleans for four years and the Buccaneers for five. Since joining Tampa Bay in 2019, he has not completed a season as the starting quarterback. During that season, he passed for 33 touchdowns and a league-high 5,109 yards, but he also threw 30 interceptions.

“I think it’s a given that nothing happens by accident,” Winston stated to reporters via Zoom. “Therefore, when this opportunity presented itself, we seized it, spoke with each other, worked together, and it felt like a perfect fit for me.”

Regarding the signing of Winston and the decision to hold off on bringing back the widely-liked Joe Flacco, who was a fantastic late-season addition last year that helped lead the Browns to the postseason, Browns officials have not yet talked with press. Winston, though, is obviously thrilled to be joining the Browns.

Winston stated, “This opportunity truly stood out because of the amazing organization, the amazing fan base, the amazing people that this city has to offer, and just the chance to stay grateful and to build and influence others around me.”

Above all, though, Winston’s arrival provides the Browns with an experienced backup quarterback—something that every team in the playoffs needs—something that Cleveland did not have at the beginning of the previous campaign and did not acquire until they signed Flacco on November 20.

Flacco performed a master class on how to salvage the season for the Browns. Flacco loved playing for Cleveland, the Browns players came together to support him, and the team’s supporters could not get enough of him. He also stated that he would be happy to return in the same capacity in 2024. Strangely enough, though, Browns officials chose to take a different approach.

Winston now has a spot in the on-deck circle in case Watson gets hurt during the 2024 season because of that opening.

Winston declared, “I’m so excited to work with this young man and help him become one of the best quarterbacks in this league, which is what he is capable of.”

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