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Cody Kessler traded to Jacksonville Jaguars by Browns

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Blake Bortles will have a new backup after veteran clipboard-holder Chad Henne defected to Kansas City.

Cleveland is trading Cody Kessler to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft pick, both teams announced Wednesday.

A mere one year after coach Hue Jackson asked reporters to trust his evaluation of the 2016 third-round pick, Kessler fell out of favor, beginning the 2017 season third on the depth chart behind rookie DeShone Kizer and former scout-team quarterback Kevin Hogan.

Now Kizer and Kessler are gone, with Hogan hanging by a thread following the recent acquisitions of Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton.

Kessler started eight winless games in two years with the Browns, generating a 63.8 completion rate at 6.9 yards per attempt with a 6:3 TD-to-INT ratio and a respectable 87.4 passer rating. Although he flashed plus accuracy and pocket movement in nine rookie-year appearances, Kessler lacks the arm strength of an NFL starter.

The former USC star might prove to be an upgrade on Henne as an insurance policy, but he's unlikely to pose much of a threat to Bortles' starting job.

"We are excited about the opportunity to add Cody as depth to our quarterback position," Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. "Despite being just 24 years old, Cody has already seen NFL game action and was very effective as a rookie in 2016, showing accuracy and efficiency in posting a quarterback rating of 90-plus.

"From our research and through getting to know Cody during the draft process, we know he is a smart, tough and competitive young man and we expect him to be a great addition to our quarterback and offensive meeting rooms."

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