The Cleveland Browns are bringing in another quarterback this offseason.
The Browns reached a one-year deal with former 2018 top-10 pick Josh Rosen on Thursday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The move comes after Rosen and A.J. McCarron worked out for the franchise earlier on Thursday. The team is still unlikely to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, according to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot, after the San Francisco 49ers reportedly allowed Garoppolo to seek a trade.
But with Deshaun Watson likely to be suspended for at least part of the 2022 season, the Browns wanted to sign another quarterback to back up Jacoby Brissett when he inevitably starts Week 1. Joshua Dobbs would then be the team's No. 3 quarterback until Watson returned.
Neither McCarron nor Rosen are flashy names, and both have been mostly career backups in the NFL.
Rosen was the fourth quarterback taken and 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft after Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen, but only lasted one season with the Arizona Cardinals before being traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2020. He floundered in Miami as well and found himself on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad in 2020 before signing with the 49ers at the end of the season. Coincidentally, the Falcons signed Rosen in 2021 after McCarron suffered his ACL injury, where he completed 2-of-11 passes over two games in relief of Matt Ryan at the end of the year.
McCarron signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021 but tore his ACL in the team's second preseason game and missed the whole year. His last passing attempt came in 2019 when he was the backup to Watson with the Houston Texans. McCarron has attempted just 174 passes in 17 games since the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the fifth round in 2014.
Another name that has been floated as a possible option for Cleveland is Cam Newton. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentioned "there’s apparently some chatter about the possibility of the Browns adding Cam Newton." Whether or not that's a legitimate option remains to be seen.
There's at least enough smoke around this idea to suggest two things about the Browns: They expect a Watson suspension sooner rather than later and they want to shore up their quarterback room in the event that he misses significant time without sacrificing a lot of money or assets.
Given how barren the backup quarterback market is at the moment (Mike Glennon or Garrett Gilbert are also available), Rosen looks like the best options for the Browns if they don't want to trade for someone.