Deshaun Watson is currently waiting to hear if he’ll be forced to serve an NFL suspension of any sort in 2022, and so are the Cleveland Browns after trading with the Houston Texans to acquire him before immediately awarding him the largest contract — also fully guaranteed — in the history of the league. But having now parted ways with former first-overall pick Baker Mayfield, traded to the Carolina Panthers in July, they’ll need to create a contingency plan in the event Watson is banned for any amount of time; and they have their eyes on two well-known quarterbacks as a possible contingency plan.
Those two gentleman are Josh Rosen and A.J. McCarron, per ESPN, both of whom are reportedly set to workout for the Browns just ahead of veterans reporting to NFL training camp. If either (or both) are signed, it isn’t expected to change the likelihood of incumbent backup Jacoby Brissett being elevated to the role of QB1 in the event of a Watson suspension.
Rosen is a former 10th-overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals who was jettisoned by the club via trade only one year later, and he’s struggled to find an NFL home ever since. Should he join the Browns, it will mark the sixth team of his professional career in only five seasons. McCarron, a former fifth-round pick Cincinnati Bengals has fared a might better in the professional ranks — remaining with his initial team for four seasons — but he’s also become a journeyman and, similar to Rosen, he’d be entering his sixth team if he and the Browns come to terms on a deal.
Other than Watson and Brissett, the only QB on the roster is Joshua Dobbs, a former fourth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers who himself hasn’t panned out and has a lot to prove, as the Browns try desperately to zoom in on a backup QB for Brissett in the event they lose Watson.