When rookie second-round pick DeShone Kizer takes the field for the Browns on Sunday against the Steelers, he will be the team's 27th different starting quarterback since 1999, when the team returned to the NFL. And out of those previous 26 starters, only one has a winning record as the Browns' quarterback: Brian Hoyer went 10-6 during his two years in Cleveland. Naturally, the team chose not to re-sign him after the 2014 season and instead anointed Johnny Manziel as the franchise's future.
The Browns released Manziel after the 2015 season and he's been out of football ever since.
Meanwhile, Hoyer has played for the Texans and Bears, going 6-8 in 14 starts, and this offseason he signed with the 49ers, where he was reunited with Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco's first-year coach who was the Browns' offensive coordinator in 2014. And even though the 49ers are coming off a two-win season, Hoyer is ecstatic to be where he is -- and not in Cleveland. (Worth noting: The 49ers won twice as many games as the Browns in '16.)
To recap: Hoyer, like everybody else half-paying attention, thought the Browns were equal parts circus and joke. And he was right, of course.
Remember: The '14 season included Browns general manager Ray Farmer violating NFL rules by sending texts to coaches during games, and some staff -- including Shanahan -- leaving the team due to reported friction between coaches and the front office. And in the weeks leading up to the '14 draft, the club reportedly spent $100,000 on a study that said Teddy Bridgewater was a better NFL prospect than Manziel only to have team owner Jimmy Haslam (on the advice of a hobo?) trade up to take Johnny Football.
In the Browns' defense, they cleaned out the front office and coaching staff after the 2015 season and Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown appear to finally have the organization on the right track.
Unfortunately, the Browns and 49ers won't meet in the regular season -- which means the only chance they'll face each other is in the Super Bowl. In related news,.