Coming in at No. 4 is ‘Hoyer the Destroyer.’ The infamous Browns quarterback jersey had way too many names listed on it, as the Factory of Sadness struggled to find their starter under center for most of their second existence.
Thankfully with Baker Mayfield now starting, this appears to be a problem of the past. Having said that, the Browns have had pockets of success with quarterbacks. One of those seldom moments of excitement came when Brian Hoyer returned home to play for Cleveland.
Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Hoyer was a career backup with just one start under his belt before signing with the Browns. Undrafted out of Michigan State, he was the backup to Tom Brady from 2009 through 2011 with the New England Patriots. He then bounced between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals in 2012.
Hoyer started one game for the Cardinals, which ended in a loss. Still, the Browns saw something in Hoyer and brought him in the following season on a two-year deal to back up Brandon Weeden.
Eventually, Hoyer took over and it looked like he was ready to be the guy. The Ohio native won three games in a row, while throwing for 615 yards with five touchdowns and three picks. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in his third start and missed the rest of the season.
After that, things went crazy. The Browns traded up for Johnny Manziel the next season and Hoyer had to compete with the first-round pick for the job. Despite looking over his shoulder, Hoyer was 7-2 at one point before the team began to struggle and fell to 7-6. They started Manziel the final two games and the wheels fell off.
Even with the fact that Hoyer was never an unquestioned starter, he still finished his short time with the Browns owning a record of 10-6.
Had the Manziel drama never happened, this team may have been better over the past couple of seasons. That’s not to say Hoyer is a franchise guy, but he was a capable quarterback and was an excellent signing, considering how little fanfare there was around him.