The Browns haven’t identified their starting quarterback for 2017, but it could be someone who spent the last two years as a backup.
Geno Smith has drawn interest from the Browns and would be able to compete for the starting job in Cleveland, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Smith hasn’t started and finished a game since 2014, so he would seem more likely to be a backup in 2017. He has indicated that he’s willing to serve as a backup, and two teams that have shown interest in Smith as a backup are the Chargers and Giants.
But if Smith wants to start, Cleveland may be the only place where he’d get a chance. At the moment, the Browns’ quarterback depth chart consists of Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and Brock Osweiler, with Osweiler likely to be gone before the season starts and Hogan not seen as having a legitimate shot at winning the starting job. So Smith could compete with Kessler in camp, and potentially beat him out.
But Kessler showed some promise as a rookie last year, and there’s nothing forcing the Browns to cut Osweiler, even though they traded for him more because they wanted the draft pick that came with him than because they wanted Osweiler himself. A Kessler-Osweiler quarterback competition might be better than a Kessler-Smith quarterback competition.
Meanwhile, there’s a suggestion that if Smith really wants to be a starter, he needs to do so in the Canadian Football League. Canada or Cleveland.