As the NFL preseason comes to a close, the Cleveland Browns now know who their starting QB will be on week one.
However, they might have too much faith in him to lead the team with Watson suspended.
Brissett hasn’t been a long-term starting QB since 2019, when he took over for the retired Andrew Luck.
While he played 11 games last season, he would only start in five games with the Miami Dolphins.
So why are the Browns putting faith in him, instead of getting a better fill-in QB in Watson’s absence?
Browns Can’t Afford To Trade For Jimmy Garoppolo
The best replacement QB for the Browns over the next 11 games is Jimmy Garoppolo.
However, they can’t afford to take on his contract if they trade for him.
That problem could be the main reason the Browns are putting faith in Brissett.
The only way the Browns could afford Garoppolo is if San Francisco pays a portion of his 2022 salary.
But some think with Watson losing most of his 2022 salary because of his suspension, they could offer a one-year deal to Jimmy G.
To me, that's why I think they would go after Garoppolo with a 1-year contract. It's a sunk cost fallacy if they stick with Watson & Brissett this season because Watson already cashed that $45M signing bonus. His $1M 2022 salary allows CLE to add another QB.
I dunno. We'll see.
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) August 25, 2022
While that sounds like a brilliant plan, Garoppolo isn’t taking a lower salary than his current contract.
This is a problem for Cleveland, which is keeping them from getting a better QB to fill-in.
However, there’s another reason the Browns shouldn’t put much faith in Brissett.
Brissett Has A History Of Being A Below Average QB
The QBs time with the Colts and Dolphins has seen him with a below average record as a starter.
In his 30 starts with the Colts, he holds an 11-19 record.
Brissett had an 11-19 record as a starter for the Colts and 7-8 on his best year on an easy schedule
— Dont Worry Be Happy (@dontwrry_Bhappy) July 29, 2022
Over his four-year career with them, he appeared in 46 total games with a completion percentage below 60.
He finished his time with them having 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
His time in Miami saw him appear in 11 games, passing for five touchdowns and four interceptions.
These stats are red flags for Cleveland if they are hoping for him to hold up the team this season.
However, there’s even more problems for Cleveland when you dive deeper into the numbers with their quarterback.
Brissett Isn’t Reliable With Middle And Deep Passes
While with the Colts, the current Browns quarterback had problems completing passes beyond ten yards.
When passing between 11 to 19 yards, he posted a 44.8% completion rate while only completing 30% of passes of 20 yards or more.
• At/Behind LOS = 90.8 COMP%
• Short 1-10 yards = 71.4 COMP%
• Intermediate 11-19 yards = 44.8 COMP%
• 20+ yards = 30.0 COMP%
Can’t win completing under 40% on intermediate/deep throws. pic.twitter.com/o7IenB1z7W
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) February 20, 2020
This is a formula for failure in a starting quarterback.
The Browns can’t survive 11 games with someone who is only good at completing passes of ten or fewer yards.
While Kareem Hunt is a great dump and go option for Brissett, the team can’t lean on Hunt to do all the work.
However, this could be the fate of Cleveland as they navigate the season without their star quarterback.
With Brissett not seeing action in the first two preseason games, he’s already behind the curve going into the regular season.
All these things put a dark cloud over Cleveland as they continue to place faith in Brissett for 2022.