Cody Kessler will serve as the Jaguars backup quarterback this season behind Blake Bortles following an offseason trade. Bortles might miss receivers with his errant throws but he hasn't missed a start in three seasons. Kessler shouldn't be anywhere close to a Fantasy roster.
The Browns agreed Wednesday to trade Kessler to the Jaguars in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The light compensation suggests Kessler will need to compete for a backup job with his new team, even though Blake Bortles (wrist) is the only other quarterback currently on the roster. Jacksonville could seek an upgrade in the latter stages of free agency or the upcoming draft, as Kessler is a risky No. 2 quarterback for a team that likes its chances of returning to the playoffs. The 2016 third-round pick completed 65.6 percent of his passes for a respectable 7.1 yards per attempt as a rookie, but he lost each of his eight starts while throwing for only six touchdowns. Kessler then spent most of 2017 buried on the bench, ultimately attempting 23 passes without making a start.
The Browns likely will try to trade Kessler, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The team traded for Tyrod Taylor, signed Drew Stanton and is expected to take a quarterback within the first four picks of the upcoming draft. There won't be room for Kessler or Kevin Hogan on the final roster unless one of the other signal callers is injured. A 2016 third-round pick, Kessler lost all eight of his starts as a rookie, despite completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 7.1 yards per attempt with only two interceptions. Of course, he threw for just six touchdowns, and the Browns averaged 15.8 points in his starts. Kessler only attempted 23 passes last season, splitting backup duties with Hogan throughout the year. A late-round pick is the most Cleveland can hope for.
Kessler was on the field for seven plays in replace of DeShone Kizer (ribs) and completed 1 of 3 passes for five yards during Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Lions. When Kizer left the game with a rib injury, Kessler was called on to replace the rookie, though the former USC quarterback ultimately failed to move the ball as well as his teammate. He was sacked three times during his seven plays of action while completing just one pass. Kizer is confident he'll be able to suit up Sunday against Jacksonville, meaning Kessler will once again be destined for backup duties.
Kessler will remain the Browns' No. 2 quarterback for Sunday's game against the Vikings after head coach Hue Jackson named DeShone Kizer the team's Week 8 starter Wednesday. Kessler made his first appearance of the season in Sunday's 12-9 overtime loss to the Titans, coming on in relief for Kizer in the third quarter and completing 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Though he was more productive during the contest than the struggling Kizer, who threw two more interceptions to bring his total to a league-high 13 on the season, Kessler's inability to engineer a touchdown drive likely prevented him from getting a look as the starter in Week 8. However, with Kizer's hold on the top gig on shaky ground after being replaced due to ineffectiveness midway through each of his last three starts, it wouldn't be surprising if Kessler was called upon again at some point Sunday. The Vikings defense is yielding just 283 yards per game for the season, good for the fourth-best mark in the NFL.
Kessler completed 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards with an interception during Sunday's 12-9 loss to the Titans. Kessler -- who was active for the first time in 2017 -- was called on to replace DeShone Kizer in the third quarter of Sunday's matchup. Kessler is Cleveland's third quarterback to throw a pass this season, as the struggling Kizer has already been benched twice. The second-year signal caller out of USC was able to move the offense more efficiently than Kizer, connecting with tight end David Njoku on two long completions, though he was unable to lead his offense to a touchdown and sailed a throw to the rookie tight end that was intercepted late in the game. It still remains to be seen who will be the Browns' quarterback versus the Vikings in Week 8, but knowing coach Hue Jackson's history with the position, don't be surprised if Kessler is under center going forward.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New York Giants||32||22.88|
|2||09/16||New England Patriots||30||21.53|
|4||09/30||New York Jets||26||21.00|
|5||10/07||@Kansas City Chiefs||25||20.41|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||64.2||753||3||2||8||0||46|