Can Tyrod Taylor be more than just a bridge quarterback?


The Cleveland Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor as their next bridge quarterback, but can he be more than that for the team?

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey surprised pretty much everyone when he swung a deal with the Buffalo Bills for quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the eve of free agency.

Even though the Browns are a lock to select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, they still needed a veteran to carry the water while the rookie gets up to speed.

Incumbents DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler could have fit the bill, but Dorsey was clearly not enamored with either of those options, a point driven home by the fact that Kizer is now with the Green Bay Packers and Kessler is with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Enter Taylor, who started 43 games for the Buffalo Bills over the past three seasons, throwing for 8,857 yards, 51 touchdowns (while rushing for 14 more) and completing 62.6 percent of his passes.

Most importantly, he only threw 16 interceptions in the those three season, which will be a nice change of pace after watching Kizer throw 22 interceptions in just 15 games last season. Going a little bit deeper, Cleveland’s quarterbacks threw more interceptions in the red zone, six, than Taylor had all of last season.

Taylor is also entering the final year of his contract, which makes him possibly the best bridge quarterback that the Browns could have found.

But could he turn into more than just that?

Rex Ryan, who coached Taylor with the Bills in 2015, believes so. In a story by Tim Rohan at, Ryan sees good things for Taylor in Cleveland:

"Tyrod’s a hell of a lot better quarterback than people give him credit for. He’s had the one of the best touchdown-to-interception ratios [2.83] in the history of the National Football League, so I think that bodes well for the Browns. Remember, this guy hasn’t exactly been blessed with the best receiving corps. In Buffalo, when [Sammy] Watkins was healthy, that was a different story. When Sammy was healthy, Tyrod did a tremendous job. You had Robert Woods and [Watkins], and obviously that was great. But when he wasn’t there, we didn’t have the weapons. Tyrod’s a leader. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people."

Ryan’s assessment of the situation in Buffalo may be a bit off as Taylor’s stats were fairly consistent both with and without Watkins in the lineup.

But he is correct about the improved situation that Taylor now finds himself in with the Browns, who have assembled a passing game with a considerable amount of potential.

Dorsey added slot receiver Jarvis Landry in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Landry may not do much with the ball once he catches it, but he is a reliable target. With a little bit of luck, the Browns will have wide receivers Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman join Landry for a full 16 games this fall.

Toss in running back Duke Johnson, one of the league’s best pass catchers out of the backfield, and tight end David Njoku, who should make a nice leap in his second year, and it is easy for Browns fans to envision the worst problem for Taylor being that he does not which option to choose from as the offense marches down the field.

OK, that might be a little bit of a stretch, but the point is that the Browns offense should be improved on offense. At the very least, they have made enough moves, with more coming in the draft, to make things as easy as possible on the quarterback.

Next: Browns: 3 free agents still on the market

Now all Taylor has to do is live up to his part of the bargain.