Cleveland Browns: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns
Quarterback Brian Sipe #17 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

Quarterback. (1974-1983). Brian Sipe. 23. player. 53.

Greatest players in Cleveland Browns history: 23. Brian Sipe

Another player who would have been undrafted in today’s NFL, quarterback Brian Sipe lasted until the 13th round of the 1972 NFL Draft after a career at San Diego State. At just 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, the undersized Sipe had to sit and wait his turn to start for the Browns.

That finally came in 1976 when he started 12 of 14 games for Cleveland. The Browns won seven of those contests and Sipe showed his promise. He remained their primary starter until 1983, going 57-55 in that span and finishing with 154 touchdowns and 149 picks.

His best season was 1980 when he had a fantastic season for one of the most-beloved Browns teams of all-time. Sipe finished that year with 4,132 yards and 30 touchdown passes — with just 14 picks. It was by far his best statistical season and the Browns just missed out on the Super Bowl that season on the infamous ‘Red Right 88’ play.

Instead of attempting a potential game-winning field goal, Sipe and the Browns tool to the field to go for a touchdown — apparently feeling it was less risky than a kick in the poor weather. The result was an interception by safety Mike Davis, which ended their chances at making the big game. To this day, it was the most heartbreaking loss in the history of the Browns.