For pretty much forever, Cleveland has (to borrow a phrase from Muhsin Muhammad) been the place where quarterbacks go to die. But with the offseason additions of bridge quarterback Tyrod Taylor and future franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns' quarterback situation is finally no longer the joke of the NFL.
Just ask receiver Jarvis Landry, who got traded from Miami to Cleveland this offseason and later scored a monster contract extension. According to Landry, the Browns' quarterback situation is better than the Dolphins'.
"The quarterback play is so important, which has got me that much more excited about Tyrod and (first-rounder Baker Mayfield) and the way that they're throwing the ball out here, it makes me that much more excited," Landry said, per NFL.com. "It's a lot better than what I had in Miami. I'm excited about that."
Landry added that unlike his experience with Taylor this offseason, his quarterbacks in Miami didn't try to get everyone together for offseason workouts.
"As soon as I found out he was coming, I texted [Taylor]: 'Let's do it.' Found out when he was coming up here, we all came up here for the press conference, we did the press conference, then we did the thing in Miami where we got everybody together and then we're back here. And we've got something else planned when we leave here right before training camp and stuff like that. I love it," Landry said. "Again, I didn't do that in Miami with the quarterbacks because they didn't want to do it. I would say that the chemistry and the type of guys that I'm around here makes me that much more excited because I know I'm going to be pushed at all levels at all times."
Maybe Landry was just trying to compliment his new teammates. But in the process, his comments come across as a shot at Ryan Tannehill -- not to mention Jay Cutler, who filled in for Tannehill last season, and Matt Moore, who filled in for both quarterbacks. It's Tannehill, though, who primarily threw passes to Landry during their time together in Miami.
Landry joined the team in 2014. From 2014-16, Tannehill started 45 of 48 possible games. Tannehill entered every offseason as the team's starter, so he appears to be the target of Landry's criticism about offseason workouts. Cutler, who didn't join the team as the starter until August of last year, didn't have time to organize workouts outside of team activities.
So, is Landry's assessment fair? Is the Browns' quarterback situation better than the Dolphins'? It's impossible to judge Mayfield at this point in his career, so let's compare Taylor and Tannehill.
Based on the statistics alone, give the slight edge to Taylor. But if we factor in their rushing stats, Taylor gains an even bigger advantage.
It's worth noting that both quarterbacks should have opportunities in the years to come to demonstrate signs of improvement. They're both under the age of 30.
Tannehill's first season under Adam Gase in 2016 resulted in some of the best numbers of his career, so there's reason to believe he'll continue his ascent under Gase's tutelage. The only problem is, the roster around Tannehill doesn't appear to be all that great. After losing Landry, their best receiver is either Kenny Stills or Devante Parker.
As for Taylor, his path forward is a bit murkier, because it likely won't happen in Cleveland, where he's nothing more than a bridge to Mayfield. But if Taylor performs well in 2018 while Mayfield waits for his turn, he'll likely secure another job somewhere else in the NFL. The good news for Taylor is that the Browns' offense suddenly features a plethora of weapons like Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, Duke Johnson, David Njoku, and Carlos Hyde. Unlike many of the quarterbacks that came before him, Taylor will at least be given a chance to succeed.
In a strange twist, the Browns' offensive personnel might be better than the Dolphins' in 2018.
There, I think I just agreed with Jarvis Landry.