The Cardinals are still not done on the trade front. Arizona is on the acquiring end of a deal this time, however. The Browns are trading quarterback Josh Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Cardinals for a 2024 fifth-rounder (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network). CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones was the first to report (via Twitter) that Dobbs was on his way to the desert.
Jones adds that that Kellen Mond has not, in fact, been placed on waivers. Such a move was announced by the team earlier today, but with Dobbs no longer in the fold, the Browns will retain Mond to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. Most significantly, this news confirms that rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson has done enough to win the backup job behind Deshaun Watson.
This move ends a second Dobbs tenure early. The Browns had rostered Dobbs as their Jacoby Brissett backup last year, but Watson’s return from suspension led to the team cutting him. Dobbs ended up in Detroit and then Tennessee, where he was immediately called upon to start (over Malik Willis) in the Titans’ final two games. Now, the veteran reserve, months after rejoining the Browns on a one-year deal worth $2MM, will join a Cardinals team that came into the day with five QBs rostered. The move points to Kyler Murray remaining on Arizona’s PUP list to start the season.
The trade also comes not long after Kevin Stefanski (via cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot) had named Dobbs as their backup. That was believed to be the plan all along, with the seventh-year vet operating as QB2 as Thompson-Robinson developed. This move will still allow for Thompson-Robinson to grow behind Watson, though an injury to the starter would throw the fifth-round rookie into the fire.
Although Colt McCoy, David Blough, Jeff Driskel and fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune are on Arizona’s roster, the Cardinals brought in Dobbs, who has a history with new OC Drew Petzing. The Browns’ QBs coach last year will bring in Dobbs as McCoy insurance, per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter). McCoy’s season ended early because of a concussion last year, and he went on IR with another issue prior to that. An elbow problem sidelined McCoy to start this offseason program as well. The 14th-year veteran is going into his age-37 season. Under contract for one more year, McCoy considered retirement this offseason.
To start the year, the Cards’ depth chart will likely be McCoy-Dobbs-Tune at QB, Weinfuss adds. With Petzing on board as the play-caller, TheLandonDemand.com’s Tony Grossi notes the Cardinals tried to sign Dobbs as a free agent. Thompson-Robinson’s emergence changed the Browns’ thinking regarding their QB depth chart, per Grossi.
Despite Dobbs coming into the league as a 2017 fourth-round pick, he had only attempted 17 passes coming into December of last year. The Titans summoned the rocket scientist, and he completed 69% of his passes in a do-or-die game against a much healthier Jaguars squad. The injury-plagued Titans pushed the Jags in that Week 18 game, with Dobbs throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown. Mired in some QB uncertainty until Murray returns, the Cardinals now have the former Steelers draftee in a familiar system.
Adam La Rose contributed to this post.