Best Cleveland Browns backup No. 3: Vinny Testaverde
He ended his tenure with the Browns as a starting quarterback but that’s not how it began for Vinny Testaverde in northeast Ohio. A former No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 1987, Testaverde managed to last six seasons in Tampa but had a rough 24-48 record as a starter.
He was able to move to Cleveland in the 1993 offseason and started the year behind Bernie Kosar – who was a teammate of his back in Miami. However, Kosar ended up inside Bill Belichick’s doghouse and by midseason, he was let go.
With Kosar out the door, Belichick turned the reins over to Testaverde who started six games that season. He was 3-3 as the starter while throwing for 1,797 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine picks. He did enough to prove he should be the starter from that point on, and was able to shake the bust label that was following him out of Tampa Bay.
Testaverde ended up playing for Cleveland for the next two seasons and was 16-15 overall as the starter. He then went with the franchise to Baltimore when they became the Ravens. Testaverde spent another two seasons as the Ravens quarterback but was an abysmal 8-20-1 as the starter.
So while he wasn’t a backup long, Testaverde was originally the second-string quarterback and turned his success in that role into an opportunity to be the man once again.