Browns To Bring Back QB Josh Dobbs

8:17pm: The deal will save the Browns some at their QB2 spot. Dobbs agreed to a one-year deal worth $2MM fully guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

6:26pm: Josh Dobbs spent much of last season in Cleveland, but he ended up in two other cities to close the campaign. Following Jacoby Brissett‘s Washington exit, the Browns are bringing his former understudy back.

The Browns are signing Dobbs to a one-year deal, according to his agent (on Twitter). This will be the second time in Dobbs’ career he will have reunited with a team. The ex-Steelers draftee enjoyed multiple stints in Pittsburgh as well, but he is now positioned to become Deshaun Watson‘s backup.

Originally added in April 2022 to back up Brissett while Watson served a suspension, the length of which being unknown at the time Dobbs signed. Dobbs ended up playing that role for 11 games. Brissett proved durable in Cleveland; Dobbs did not take a snap with the Browns last year. But he outplayed Malik Willis with the Titans, helping Tennessee provide Jacksonville a Week 18 scare despite being down many pieces on offense.

Between Cleveland and Nashville, Dobbs wound up in Detroit. But the Titans signed him off the Lions’ practice squad soon after the Lions picked him up. Ryan Tannehill ended up being lost for the season at that point, requiring more help in Tennessee. Despite being with the team barely a week, Dobbs overtook Willis as the Titans’ starter for the season’s final two games. In Week 18, he completed 20 of 29 passes for 179 yards in a 20-16 loss to the Jaguars.

The Browns have restructured Watson’s contract, adding a void year (2027) to it and spiking the starter’s cap numbers from 2024-26 into a new financial stratosphere. Watson is now tied to $63.9MM cap numbers in those seasons, and although the 2022 trade pickup’s 2023 cap figure dropped from $54.9MM to $19.1MM, it still makes sense for the Browns to add a low-cost backup. It should be expected Dobbs’ deal will check in south of Brissett’s 2022 money ($4.65MM).

Dobbs’ relevant NFL work almost all came in January. Despite arriving in the league as a 2017 fourth-round pick, Dobbs threw only 17 passes over his first five seasons. But the quarterback/rocket scientist worked in Kevin Stefanski‘s system for eight months last year and finished the season with some surprising contributions to the AFC South race. Although the Browns have former Vikings third-rounder Kellen Mond in their quarterback room, Dobbs’ role last year points to the elder passer having the leg up for the 2023 QB2 gig.

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