The Cleveland Browns need to be investing time in looking at the free-agent quarterbacks that are available for 2022 as Case Keenum is aging and expensive.
Where are the Cleveland Browns headed after this big disappointment of a season? There are still two games left, but regardless of the outcome of those games, the Browns front office and ownership have to consider all parts of the team and try to make this organization even more competitive and ultimately get to and win a Super Bowl.
Their starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield, has been a train wreck this season, piling up injuries and yet his coaches continued to put him out there on the field. Was that a coaching decision? Was it Mayfield refusing to take a seat?
At this point, it really doesn’t matter. However, moving forward does Mayfield play out his rookie contract next season without getting any type of new deal this offseason with the organization?
I still suspect Mayfield will get that new deal, but it’s important the organization still makes sure that if a deal doesn’t happen that they have other plans in the works. Currently, the backup quarterback is Case Keenum. The long-time NFL journeyman has certainly made his rounds over the years.
He had a great season back in 2017 when he helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to a playoff run. Keenum’s offensive coordinator was current Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. So, when Cleveland brought on Keenum to back up Mayfield these last two seasons it seemed to be the logical choice.
Keenum is aging, however, as he’ll be 34 years old on February 17. There are numerous quarterbacks older than Keenum in the league, like a one ageless wonder Tom Brady who is down quarterbacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Keenum’s age and expense though should be a factor as Keenum continues to sit on the Browns roster.
He earned $6.5 million this season and is due another $5.5 million next year. He’s also due $1 million more if he makes the roster next summer in 2022.
As much as I believe Keenum is a very good quarterback to have at your disposal if Mayfield goes out of a game, I don’t like the price tag for him and especially when we had a season like this one where the Browns organization and coaches refused to play him more when it was certainly needed after Mayfield’s injuries.
Cleveland could save a lot of money if they parted ways with Keenum sooner than later. How that is worked out will be left to those that are good at that type of negotiating. With that need to change the backup quarterback, let’s look at four players that would fit the bill better next season as Mayfield’s backup. These players are a lot less expensive and younger.