Skip to main content

Cleveland Browns to trade for Bills QB Tyrod Taylor

The Rams' overhauled defense may have taken center stage in the week leading into the new league year, but Friday belongs to the Browns.

Just hours after landing wide receiver Jarvis Landry from Miami, Cleveland has pulled the trigger on two more trades.

The Browns agreed to acquire Tyrod Taylor from the Bills in exchange for the No. 65 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation. In turn, new general manager John Dorsey agreed to deal quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Packers, netting cornerback Damarious Randall in return, sources involved in the trade confirmed to Rapoport.

The Bills did well to land an early third-round pick for a player they weren't intent on keeping. Buffalo is now flush with five choices (Nos. 21, 22, 53, 56, 65) in the draft's first 65 selections. General manager Brandon Beane has the ammunition for a trade that could net the franchise a high-profile quarterback in next month's draft.

From the Browns' perspective, Taylor figures to slot in as the veteran bridge quarterback, keeping the seat warm for the quarterback of the future -- likely drafted with the No. 1 or No. 4 pick. Striking before the onset of free agency also allowed Dorsey to outflank the competition, eliminating a fallback option for the Broncos and Cardinals.

Although Taylor's penchant for leaving throws on the field led to a midseason benching last season, he balances that deficiency by avoiding turnovers, moving the chains with his legs and making big plays via the deep ball. He kept a less talented Bills outfit in games, managing an admirable 22-20 record in 42 starts over the past three years.

His addition is bad news for former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron, previously viewed as the apple of Hue Jackson's eye. On the other hand, the arrival of a veteran field general is good news for All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas, who is wrestling with the idea of retirement.

The Browns' 0-16 record last season belies a competitive week-to-week outfit undone by untimely turnovers and poor decision-making in the red zone. Even if Taylor isn't the long-term answer in Cleveland, he offers respectability as an instant upgrade on the raw, mistaken-prone Kizer.

With Taylor under center and a first-round pick likely to be waiting in the wings, Kizer was the odd man out. Dorsey spun an expected third-string quarterback into Randall, a former first-round pick with 30 NFL starts under his belt and the talent to push Jason McCourty as the No. 1 cornerback in Cleveland.

Armed with Taylor, Landry, a full season of Josh Gordan and a stockpile of early-round draft picks, Jackson's offense is primed for a dramatic turnaround in 2018. A coach who spent 2017 on the hot seat suddenly has a fighting chance to pull out of a 1-31 tailspin.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.