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The Browns Wanted To Suck, And The Injury Gods Have Obliged Them

The Cleveland Browns went into this season tanking about as openly as you’ll ever see in the NFL. With the front office now controlled by Ivy Leaguers, the Browns spent the offseason stockpiling draft picks—they drafted 14 players in June, all of whom made the 53-man roster, and have another dozen-plus picks in next year’s draft, including two each in the first two rounds. Sam Hinkie died for his sins, but his spirit lives on.

As part of their plan to more or less purposefully suck, the Browns of course hired Robert Griffin III to play quarterback in the offseason. It was an opportunity to buy low on a guy who once put up one of the best rookie seasons of all time, while also providing the rest of us with the innate comedy that would come attached with RGIII playing for the Browns. As you know, Griffin got his shoulder destroyed in the first game and may miss the rest of the season.


In Week 2, the Browns turned to Josh McCown, who for a backup quarterback—to say nothing of a backup quarterback on the Browns—is pretty decent. McCown helped the Browns get out to an 18-point lead against the Ravens yesterday. The Browns lost, obviously, but it’s better to remember the good times. Anyway, McCown busted his shoulder up, and now the Browns are turning to quarterback number three.

That would be rookie Cody Kessler, whom you may be familiar with if you’ve followed the foibles of the USC football program over the last several years. Kessler was drafted in the third round, high enough for the press to question why the Browns chose to pass on more highly rated prospects like Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch. After the draft, head coach Hue Jackson said:

I understand where everybody is coming from, but you’ve got to trust me on this one. This is a guy that we feel very comfortable with, and we think he’s going to have an opportunity to ascend.

Well, that time for ascension is now. Kessler will start in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins. On the one hand, the Dolphins were most recently shredded by the Patriots’ parade of backup QBs, so Kessler may not look like some clown the Browns just pulled out of the stands. On the other, third-round quarterbacks—like all quarterbacks not picked in the first round—are generally useless, but that doesn’t matter as long as you remember that the Browns want to suck.

Completing your goals is the pathway to success.

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