Former No. 2 Pick Floated as QB Target for Browns

The Cleveland Browns are in the market for a veteran backup quarterback and Marcus Mariota is a name the team could investigate.

Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns will be in the market for a veteran QB like Marcus Mariota this offseason.

Mariota is a free agent after spending last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s bounced around since leaving the Tennessee Titans, also spending time with the Atlanta Falcons and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mariota, 30, didn’t play any meaningful snaps with the Eagles last season. However, his resume could make him a valuable option to call upon in a pinch. Mariota has started 74 games in his career, passing for 93 touchdowns and 55 interceptions. He knows how to take care of the ball, which wasn’t always a priority for the Browns’ backup passers last season. The Browns led the league with 37 turnovers last season — 23 interceptions and 14 fumbles.

Mary Kay Cabot of included Mariota in the list of veterans the Browns could pursue this offseason to sit behind Deshaun Watson.

“Cleveland-native Mitch Trubisky is a free agent and was coveted by this front office in the 2017 draft. Marcus Mariota also fits the price point and skill set,” Cabot wrote.

Browns Want to Add Depth Behind Deshaun Watson

Marcus Mariota played sparingly for the Eagles last season as Jalen Hurts' backup.

Mariota’s one-year deal last season with the Eagles was for $5 million. Something close to that number is something the Browns could afford as they look to bolster their QB depth. During his end-of-season press conference, Cleveland’s general manager Andrew Berry made it clear that he wants to carry three quarterbacks next season.

“I think it’s fair to say that we’ll have three quarterbacks on the roster,” Berry said on January 22. “What that looks like can be a little bit variable just based on how the marketplace bears out.”

Watson is expected to start throwing this month as the next step in his recovery from season-ending shoulder surgery. He doesn’t have a history of missing time but there’s some uncertainty returning from such a serious injury.

“We’d all love to have him on the field more often. I think that’s safe to say, himself included,” Berry said of Watson. “I do feel really good about him, happy with the progress that he’s made within our organization, both on the field and off the field, and we’re looking forward to getting him back next year. We think he’s going to have a really big year and have a ton of confidence in him as our starting quarterback.”

Browns Want Joe Flacco Back After Successful Stint

The Browns would like Joe Flacco to return next season.

Names like Jacoby Brissett, Trubisky and Maritoa have been mentioned as potential targets. But the Browns’ preference would be getting Joe Flacco to return for another season.

Flacco is set to hit free agency after a successful stint with the Browns. He was signed by the Browns on November 20 and went 4-1 in his regular season starts. Flacco passed for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns.

There’s mutual interest in a reunion but Flacco is expected to gauge the market before committing to the Browns.

“I’m going to take my time as always, but it was one of the best experiences of my life,” Flacco told “I love it there, so definitely want to (come back).”

Flacco is expected to have a few suitors as a free agent, including the New England Patriots. He’s seeking a situation where he can compete for a starting role.

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