Tyrod Taylor

Extra Points: Cowboys, Bears, Ravens, Chargers

The Cowboys made a big splash today, firing longtime offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Speculation immediately began swirling about who Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett would tap to be his replacement, and Jon Machota of Dallas News is out with a list of potential replacements. Machota writes that Cowboys tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier is “the favorite” for the job, and notes that Garrett has spoken highly of the former Alabama and Florida offensive coordinator. He also lists quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore and receivers coach Sanjay Lal as candidates.

If the Cowboys opt not to promote someone from within, they could be interested in Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, who played for the Cowboys from 2003 to 2005. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com tweeted that “it’s hard to imagine that Jerry Jones fired Scott Linehan without knowing in advance precisely who the replacement would be,” so it’s possible we hear very soon who it’ll be.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Bears lost defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, who followed Vic Fangio to Denver to become the Broncos’ new defensive coordinator, and now they have a replacement. The team is hiring Deshea Townsend to be their new defensive backs coach, the team announced in a tweet. Townsend spent last year as an assistant DB’s coach with the Giants.
  • Tyrod Taylor could be a candidate to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup with the Ravens next year, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Baltimore will be moving on from Joe Flacco this spring, and Taylor has plenty of connections to the team, who drafted him in the sixth round back in 2011 and gave him his start in the league. Taylor, a free agent this spring after his one year with the Browns ended in him being benched for Baker Mayfield, played for current Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in Buffalo. Hensley also notes that the team has reached out to Robert Griffin III, who served as the third string quarterback this year behind Jackson and Flacco, about potentially returning in 2019. Both are mobile quarterbacks and could provide continuity in the offense if Jackson were to go down.
  • The Chargers struggled to stop the run all season long and especially in their playoff loss to the Patriots, and Chargers GM Tom Telesco said at his end of year press conference that linebacker will be a priority for them this offseason, according to Sam Fortier of The Athletic. The Chargers suffered a rash of injuries to their linebacking corp this season, with starters Kyzir White, Denzel Perryman, and Jatavis Brown all suffering serious injuries. The Chargers pick 28th in this April’s draft, and very well could target a linebacker with their first pick.


Trade Rumors: Carr, Raiders, Peterson, Taylor

We learned earlier this morning that Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson has requested a trade, though the team wants to keep him. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Jackson, on his way to the team bus this morning, declined to comment on the report.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league (Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says many GMs expect there to be three to five “impactful” deals over the next 48 hours, offers a helpful primer, which includes a list of some of the most-discussed players on the market):

  • Albert Breer of TheMMQB says that the Raiders may not be done dealing just yet, though he does not expect the team to move Derek Carr (indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported this morning that the Raiders have told Carr that he is the quarterback of the present and future). However, Oakland is open to moving Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley, though the Raiders are driving a “hard bargain” with teams interested in Conley.
  • Breer names a number of other players whose names we have not heard in recent rumblings but who could nonetheless be on the move: the PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, the 49ersPierre Garcon and Jimmie Ward, the CardinalsChandler Jones, and the BroncosShane Ray and Brandon Marshall. Breers adds that San Francisco would need to get something “significant” to deal Ward. He also says that, while teams are certainly interested in Denver corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, he thinks it would be difficult for the team to trade either.
  • If they had elected to trade Patrick Peterson, La Canfora writes that the Cardinals could have received a bounty for him, and may have even landed multiple first-round picks (in fact, several teams were already prepared to offer a first- and second-rounder). JLC reports that Peterson was considered the “crown jewel” of the deadline, and given his attractive contract status, he may be the subject of renewed trade rumors during the offseason.
  • Breer also writes that the Browns are open to trading Tyrod Taylor, whose contract structure could make a deal feasible. Meanwhile, Tony Grossi of ESPN.com suggests that Cleveland GM John Dorsey may be trying to acquire wide receiver help (Twitter link).
  • The Bills remain unlikely to trade LeSean McCoy, per Schefter.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has demonstrated a proclivity for making trades, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says Maccagnan has been doing his due diligence on everyone, including big-name players. But while there is a sense that New York could swing a deal, the fact that the team is in a no-man’s land between buyer and seller, and the fact that the roster does not have many tradeable pieces, could make a trade difficult to pull off.

Poll: Should The Browns Try To Trade Tyrod Taylor?

On Thursday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson told reporters there have been no discussions about trading quarterback Tyrod Taylor before the Oct. 30 deadline. When pressed further, Jackson shrugged off the notion that Taylor would not finish the year in Cleveland. 

I do [expect him to be with the Browns all season], until someone tells me something differently,” Jackson said. “He is our backup quarterback.”

For his part, Taylor admits that he’s frustrated with his No. 2 QB role, but he refuses to complain to management or demand a trade. It’s not hard to read between the lines and see that Taylor would prefer to be a starter elsewhere rather than Baker Mayfield‘s clipboard holder in Cleveland.

Taylor has just one year to go on his deal, which would make him a logical rental for another club. The Browns would also save a bundle by moving him. Taylor has already collected on his $6MM roster bonus, but a trade would allow them to escape the prorated portion of his $10MM base salary.

The trouble is, there may not be a robust market for Taylor’s services. The Dolphins will be without Ryan Tannehill for an unknown period of time, but they have every reason to stick with Brock Osweiler after last week’s OT victory over the Bears. The Bills, in theory, could use a QB while Josh Allen heals up from a UCL injury, but it’s hard to picture that reunion going down.

If the rest of the league would utilize Taylor as a strong backup quarterback rather than a starter, it’s hard to see the Browns getting much of a return. The Jets got a third-round pick for Teddy Bridgewater in August, but Bridgewater had a first-round pedigree and a much cheaper contract. Moving Taylor might not yield much in the way of draft compensation, and it would mean losing out on one of the more talented backups in the NFL.

With all of that in mind, do you think the Browns should trade Taylor before the deadline? Click below to cast your vote and back up your opinion in the comments. (Link for app users.)

Browns Haven’t Discussed Tyrod Taylor Trade

Tyrod Taylor profiles as a logical trade candidate, but Browns head coach Hue Jackson says the team has not discussed moving the quarterback between now and the Oct. 30 deadline (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal). Taylor, meanwhile, says that he has not thought about requesting a trade. 

It’s frustrating, but it’s a part of the game at the same time,” said Taylor, who lost his starting job to Baker Mayfield after an injury sidelined him against the Jets last month. “Eight years in, you understand some things happen that you can’t control…Not wanting to complain, just got to continue to keep being myself day in and day out. Continue to be a leader and help the team in any way.”

Taylor’s desire to leave Cleveland may change if another team needs a healthy starting QB in the coming days. Meanwhile, the Browns probably aren’t motivated to move Taylor at this time. It still makes sense to have Taylor as a backstop to Mayfield and teams probably aren’t clamoring for the ex-Bills QB after he had a rough two-and-a-half weeks as the Browns’ starter.

If the Browns opt to move Taylor, they can promote Drew Stanton to the No. 2 QB role. They do not presently have a QB on the practice squad, so they would have to go out-of-house if they wanted a third signal caller in that instance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyrod Taylor Addresses Potential Trade

Benched after just three games by a team that expressed optimism he would start throughout the season, Tyrod Taylor will naturally appear in trade rumors this month.

For now, though, the Browns’ backup quarterback isn’t demanding anything. Taylor acknowledged this could be a possibility going into the October 30 deadline.

You never know. I mean, I’m well aware of all that,” Taylor said, via ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi, of the possibility he’ll ask the Browns to trade him to a quarterback-needy team. “I don’t necessarily put it on my thought process every day. I come out each and every day aiming to get better and trying to find things to work on in my game. We’ll see. That’s more of a question for my agent. We talk. I wouldn’t necessarily reveal that to the media.”

Taylor told Grossi he’s not angry about how quickly he was demoted for Baker Mayfield and is focused on trying to help the Browns. However, a trade would give him a better chance of further showcasing his abilities in a contract year.

As a starter for three seasons with the Bills, Taylor would profile as a player who could help a team. But it might take an injury to a starter for Taylor’s value to increase. While some teams don’t appear to be solidified long-term at this spot — the Broncos, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Giants or Dolphins perhaps — it’s difficult to envision one of those pulling the trigger on a trade for Taylor at this juncture. Still, with Drew Stanton also on Cleveland’s roster, Taylor makes sense as a trade piece — especially if the Browns in a few weeks don’t believe they’re a realistic playoff contender.

Any team that acquires the walk-year passer would have exclusive negotiating rights regarding an extension. The Saints’ trade for Teddy Bridgewater may serve as a blueprint for a team that’s intrigued by Taylor.

Although, Taylor did not play especially well during his three Browns starts. He completed less than 40 percent of his passes in two of Cleveland’s three games, the second such performance being shortened by injury. He averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt this season. During his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign, Taylor averaged 8.0 yards per pass, threw 20 touchdown passes, six interceptions and ran for 568 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Name Baker Mayfield Starting QB

As expected, the Browns have named Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback. Browns coach Hue Jackson announced the news to his team this morning, days after Mayfield led the Browns to a come-from-behind victory over the Jets. 

I informed the group this morning that we’re going to start Baker Mayfield and Tyrod will be the backup if healthy,” Jackson said (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com). “Baker understands there’s still a lot of work to do. … Now the other added pressure of being out there first is there. But I think he can handle it. He’s demonstrated that.”

This year’s No. 1 overall pick will become the 30th QB to start for the Browns since 1999 when they take on the Raiders this week. The decision was something of a no-brainer after Tyrod Taylor struggled early on against the Jets before being forced out with a brain injury. When Mayfield took over in the second quarter, he led the Browns on a thrilling comeback from a 14-0 deficit to a 21-17 victory on national television.

If Mayfield can lead the Browns to victory against the Raiders, he’ll give the Browns their first winning streak since 2014 and their best start since 2001.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Announce Baker Mayfield As Starting QB Monday

The Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland has begun. After Mayfield guided the Browns to a victory over the Jets on Thursday night in relief of Tyrod Taylor, it appeared that the writing was on the wall for Taylor, who struggled mightily before being lifted with a concussion. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that head coach Hue Jackson will formally announce Mayfield, this year’s No. 1 overall pick, as the team’s starting quarterback on Monday after he has had the chance to speak with both Mayfield and Taylor (Jackson gave his team the weekend off).

The original plan was for Mayfield to sit out for much, if not all, of 2018, and serve as Taylor’s backup while learning the professional game. However, as Cabot writes in a separate piece, Jackson and GM John Dorsey really just wanted to make sure the team around Mayfield was strong enough to support him. Indeed, she says if future Hall-of-Fame left tackle Joe Thomas had not retired this offseason, Mayfield may have started right away. But now that the team seems solid enough in all three phases — the Browns could easily be 3-0 right now — Cleveland brass is comfortable putting their prized rookie under center.

Cabot adds that, when it became clear that Taylor was not getting the job done through the first two games of the season, the Browns were likely eyeing next week’s game against the Raiders as a target date for Mayfield’s debut anyway. But Taylor’s concussion — which Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes may have been a ruse to get Mayfield in the game — allowed them to expedite the process.

Cabot says Jackson has not yet made a formal announcement because he wants to be respectful towards the veteran Taylor and to speak with him before going public. As Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets, Taylor is expected to clear the concussion protocol this week, so assuming Cabot’s report is accurate, Taylor will serve as Mayfield’s backup going forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Notes: Mayfield, Dez, Gonzalez

This does not come as a great shock, but 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield will open the season as the Browns’ backup signal-caller, as Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald tweets (though head coach Hue Jackson wants to inform his team of his decision before making it official). It was always understood that Tyrod Taylor, whom the Browns acquired in an offseason trade with the Bills, would serve as the team’s starting quarterback at least until Mayfield is deemed ready, and we recently heard that Cleveland is allegedly open to extending Taylor’s contract (he is eligible for free agency at season’s end).

The decision to name Mayfield the No. 2 QB, then, is actually more about the battle between Mayfield and Drew Stanton — Jackson said last week that he was still undecided as to which player would serve as the backup — than the “battle” between Mayfield and Taylor. Stanton, the long-time second-stringer who signed a two-year pact with the Browns in March, will be the team’s No. 3 quarterback, assuming Cleveland elects to keep three QBs.

Now let’s take a look at several more notes out of Cleveland:

  • Josh Gordon will not play in the Browns’ preseason finale due to hamstring discomfort, but Jackson says the embattled wideout — who is expected to be ready for Week 1 — is “getting close,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (via Twitter).
  • In her weekly mailbag, Cabot says the Browns have not ruled out signing Dez Bryant, who recently rejected the team’s contract offer. She says Bryant liked the Browns and clearly the team had interest in him, so things could change at any time.
  • Cabot also suggests in her mailbag that Shon Coleman, who was given the first chance to succeed Joe Thomas at left tackle, could well be on the roster bubble.
  • Jackson says he “thinks” Zane Gonzalez is in the lead in the Browns’ kicking battle, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Twitter).

AFC Notes: Browns, Taylor, Bryant

Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor has dislocated the pinky on his non-throwing hand, as Andrew Gribble of the Browns’ website tweets. While his left hand is bruised and sore, head coach Hue Jackson says “he’s going to be fine.”

It sounds like Taylor will be alright for the season opener, so we won’t be seeing Baker Mayfield out there – at least, not yet.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

North Rumors: Browns, Tyrod, Steelers, Bell

Tyrod Taylor gave Browns fans a scare on Thursday night when he left Cleveland’s preseason game with a hand injury, but he eventually return to the contest and was diagnosed with just a dislocated pinky, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While undoubtedly a painful ailment, Taylor isn’t expected to miss any time with the issue, and he tweeted earlier today that he’s “doing well.” Taylor will begin the 2018 campaign as the Browns’ starting quarterback, but could eventually cede to No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Le’Veon Bell isn’t expected to report to the Steelers until Week 1, and it’s unclear if the two-time franchise player will be a member of Pittsburgh’s roster after 2018. He won’t be assigned the tag again, meaning he’ll be able to hit the open market next spring. With that in mind, Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports examined whether Bell will be able to command a fully guaranteed deal, and also looked at the top contenders to land Bell once he finally hits free agency. The Colts, Jets, and Browns — all of whom project to have plenty of 2019 cap space, all make sense as potential destinations, per Paylor.
  • Bears safety DeAndre Houston-Carson during Chicago’s preseason game against the Broncos and is expected to miss regular season action, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Houston-Carson had been performing well in training camp and during the preseason, but it’s unclear if the Bears will hold a roster spot for a player who’s not a key contributor on defense. The former sixth-round pick has played just 24 defensive snaps over two seasons in Chicago, but is a core special-teamer (303 total ST snaps since 2016).
  • Edge rusher Aaron Lynch is running out of time to earn a place on the Bears‘ roster, as Campbell writes in a full piece. Lynch has been dealing a hamstring issue since late June, and has since missed 20 practices and three preseason games. He won’t participate in Saturday’s exhibition contest, either, meaning the 25-year-old will need to show progress in Chicago’s final preseason game next Thursday. A third-round pick in 2015, Lynch flashed potential during his first two NFL seasons with San Francisco, but has played in only 14 total games over the past two years due to injuries and a suspension.