Could Jacoby Brissett keep the starting job after Deshaun Watson returns?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
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If Cowboys owner Jerry Jones can muse about Cooper Rush possibly playing well enough to keep Dak Prescott on the sidelines, why can’t the Browns ponder a similar possibility?

Jacoby Brissett is playing well, through three games. The Browns have compiled a 2-1 record. (They’d be 3-0 if they’d better managed the clock at the end of Sunday’s game against the Jets.) How many wins over the next eight games does Brissett need to create the same kind of dilemma that Jones seems to be trying to speak into existence in Dallas?

With two wins in the bank, a 4-4 mark over the remaining games Deshaun Watson will miss would put them at 6-5. Win five of eight, and they’d be 7-4. Go 6-2, and the Browns would be 8-3 after eleven games.

Next, he Browns travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Then it’s consecutive home games against the Chargers and Patriots. Week Seven, at the Ravens. Week Eight, the Bengals on Monday Night Football. After a bye, it’s at Miami, at the Bills, and a visit from the Bucs.

That trio of games preceding Watson’s return will make it easier to pivot to Watson, since it’s entirely possible the Browns will be riding a three-game losing streak when Week 13 rolls around. But what if Brissett wins one or two of those games? What if the Browns are 7-4 or 8-3?

What’s in the best interests of the team, sticking with the hot hand or inserting a quarterback who will have gone 700 days exactly between regular-season games?

Peter King said on Friday’s PFT Live that, in August, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Watson absolutely will start when his suspension ends. Hopefully, the Browns will be a little more flexible and strategic than that. Hopefully, they won’t turn to Watson simply because they gave up so much to get him, and because they endured so much scrutiny to have him on the team.

It may not be an issue. The Browns could be 5-6 or worse after eleven games, making the return of Watson a no-brainer. At some point, however, it shouldn’t be automatic that Watson will become the starter, not after missing so much time.

53 responses to “Could Jacoby Brissett keep the starting job after Deshaun Watson returns?

  1. Brissett is playing well, but let’s be real here: Nick Chubb is winning these games. I’m just glad to see that Brissett is playing at least as well as Mayfield. They were right to move on from him.

  2. Let’s not be silly. They have waaaaay too much wrapped up in Watson for him not to start, and we’re talking about Jacoby Brissett here.

  3. Watson is being handed the starting job once he’s eligible, no doubt whatsoever.

    A better question is what happens if the team takes a nose dive after Watson takes over?

  4. If Brissett wins every game, they still have to start Watson just because of how much they are paying him. But, then again, this is the Browns. So who knows, they may end up with a quarter billion dollar clipboard holder.

  5. Jacoby will have to play absolutely lights out. I do hope it happens though. It’s been awhile since Watson played against actual defenses in an actual game and turning a team that might be on a playoff bubble might very well cost them a spot in the post season. I’m all for that.

  6. If Brissett keeps playing like this the Browns could trade him for a very high draft pick if/ when the time is right…Their 3rd string guy, Joshua Dobbs, looks good also. (Pittsburgh would love to have him back.)

  7. He played a great game to his credit, but boy is that Steelers defense – and entire offense too, frankly – pedestrian right now

  8. Lol.

    Some of us have seen a lot more than three games of Jacoby Brissett.

    He could never play in an on offense that didn’t have a dominant running game and you needed to rely on him to make the big time plays.

    Let’s not pretend the Jets defense is respectable or that TJ Watt wasn’t on the sidelines.

    You can give him credit but don’t get carried away. He’s entering BrissMagic territory for sure. Watson and Brissett have put enough on film to let you know the talent gap isn’t close enough to even ponder this theory.

  9. I have loved the fire Brissett plays with, but he is the perfect player for this situation because his floor and his ceiling aren’t far apart. He’s never going to throw for 500 yards or anything crazy, but he also limits mistakes and makes some key throws when needed. He could eek this team into the playoffs, but Watson will give them a real chance to be dangerous in the playoffs.

  10. After the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson a 5-yr $230 mill fully guaranteed contract,I seriously doubt Jacoby Brissett keeps the starting job no matter how well he plays.

  11. After handing him all of that money he is not sitting on the bench. When he is eligible he will start

  12. That would be the most Browns thing ever to pay $250M for a controversial figure who caused them significant blowback then decide they’d rather play the backup instead after all that drama. Let’s be real though. That is not happening under any circumstance. Speaking of Jerry, I bet they could trade Brissett to Dallas and save a lot of money on Dak in the future.

  13. The browns should have built around brissett and saved a ton of money and picks. Hes a good player who’s continued to get better and hes still very young.

  14. IF the browns are smart (emphasis on ‘if’), they’re using this time to showcase Brissett with a big enough sample size to utilize him as trade bait to fill in other holes they may have to surround Watson (assuming he doesn’t crash and burn).

    But even guaranteeing all that money Watson in the first place is sign enough they wouldn’t do the obvious.

  15. So the Browns edged the Panthers, lost to the Jets and beat a seriously sad Steeler squad, and we’re talking about a QB controversy? We’re probably talking about 3 of worst 6 or 7 teams in the league so let’s pump the brakes here.
    Talk about a stretch…

  16. stung4ever1983 says:
    September 23, 2022 at 10:44 am
    Watson is being handed the starting job once he’s eligible, no doubt whatsoever.

    A better question is what happens if the team takes a nose dive after Watson takes over?


    The whole world smiles, although apologetically to the long-suffering Browns fans, who neither caused nor deserved ANY of this nonsense.

  17. Uh no. Just shows how stacked that team is because we’ve seen Brissett as a starter elsewhere. That they’re even making him look good is a testament to that. It would be no different than when Steve Buerlein held it down for injured Troy Aikman before he ever had any success in Dallas and Jimmy Johnson reinserted him as soon as he was healthy. It’s pretty much the same scenario if he was to go 8-3 or something.

  18. chillyball says:
    September 23, 2022 at 11:07 am
    Don’t think a billionaire won’t cut someone because of an investment of major dollars.
    Do you really think a person with a guaranteed salary and a cap hit of over $50 million each of the next four years would ever be cut? Hahahahahaaaa

  19. bostonblows says:
    September 23, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Watson and Brissett have put enough on film to let you know the talent gap isn’t close enough to even ponder this theory.


    And what has Watson put on film, anyway? He’s won one playoff game in his career to date. He’s come up small every time it countred. He’s won absolutely nothing, and only managed that in a weak division. And then he quit on his team and sat out for a year.

    The idea that the guy who couldn’t get it done with DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt on his team will now somehow have the magic ability to do so is bizarre.

  20. Seriously Florio? The Browns are switching for a plethora of reasons. But mostly, it’s because Watson is better and they paid him a ton of money. NFL teams often pick the lesser player based on draft investment… that is not the case here. Watson is much better.

  21. Whoa Nellie! Don’t put the cart in front of the horse. Mayfield, Flacco, and Trubisky aren’t exactly murders row at QB. The real test starts after week 4 against Mariota. The lineup from week 5 is Herbert, Jones, Jackson, Burrows, Tua, Allen, Brady. QBs who can play better to much better than the guys listed through week 4. Add in the state of the D and injuries, not that easy. Now Jacoby Brissett has played well the last two weeks. Can he beat a shootout? The next big test.

  22. we’ve been down this road before, I am a big Jacoby fan, but i think he is an upper tier backup QB. By the time it gets close to Deshaun coming back, I don’t think it will be up in the air. Now Mr Rub Down will struggle for a quarter/half/game/2 games maybe, but he is an upper echelon QB.

  23. While Brissett has guided the team to a 2-1 record, the Browns aren’t asking him to win games for them. He’s been the perfect definition of a Game Manager.

    Does anyone really think that Brissett has a better chance of winning in the playoffs against Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Tua or Herbert this year than Watson?

  24. My prediction is that the Browns will be in playoff position when Watson returns. Browns will then miss the playoffs.

  25. Lets put this into a perspective regular folk could relate to. So. instead of buying a 300 million dollar QB…lets say I paid $300,000 maxing out my credit for a super car of the future, but it wont be street legal for 11 weeks. So I tune up the Buick and it drives GREAT for 11 weeks!

    And I start to think..hymmm –

    I think I’ll leave the $300,000 car in the garage, because the Buick is driving great!

  26. They beat an 0-2 Panthers team. They lost to the Jets. And they beat the Steelers with Mitchell Trubisky and without TJ Watt, and you want to anoint this guy as the savior?

  27. By the time the suspension is over, the real Jacoby Brissett will appear. He does this every year, has a few good games and people want to anoint him a starter. He’s a career backup, nothing more than that.

  28. Jacoby could morph into the second coming of Otto Graham and he would still go back to the bench when Watson returns. Even the Browns aren’t going to bench a man that just guaranteed 200+ million bucks. Props to Brissett, he’s done everything that has been asked of him, and I expect him to continue to play well. Of course, having Chubb and Hunt in the backfield along with a quality offensive line, doesn’t hurt.

  29. So hypothetically speaking – what would happen if Brissett won every game from now until the time Watson came back? Then what? Not gonna happen but what if?? What if he only lost one game?

  30. Could Jacoby Brissett keep the starting job after Deshaun Watson returns?


    No way he starts when DeShaun returns. Brisset is not a starting quarterback in this league.

    Phins Phan

  31. This is hysterical. If they are 10-1 after 11 games, Watson starts game 12. After everything they put themselves through to get him, there is no chance they don’t start him. Fun hypothetical though.

  32. Jacoby Brissett and Geno Smith will face each other in the Super Bowl this year, book it.

  33. The job belongs to Watson, but don’t dismiss Jacoby’s record of 40-12. If the Browns have a 1 or 2 in the loss column, it becomes interesting. I would ride with Brissett and bring Watson along slowly, series by series on a pitch count. To me it would be dumb to allow his return to disrupt chemistry of a team on a roll.

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