The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have had 65 quarterbacks start in at least one game for the team. Pro Football Hall of Famer Otto Graham led the Browns to three NFL championships in their first six seasons in the league.

After resuming play in 1999 following a three-year suspension of operations, the franchise has been notable for its instability at the quarterback position.[1][2][3] From 1999 through end of the 2023 season, the team has had 38 players start at quarterback, with only three seasons (2001 with Tim Couch, 2019 and 2020 with Baker Mayfield) where the same quarterback started every game.[1][4]

Starters per season

Deshaun Watson (2022–present)
Jacoby Brissett (2022)
Baker Mayfield (2018–2021)
Tyrod Taylor (2018)
DeShone Kizer (2017)
Robert Griffin III (2016)
Cody Kessler (2016)
Josh McCown (2015–2016)
Johnny Manziel (2014–2015)
Brian Hoyer (2013–2014)
Brandon Weeden (2012–2013)
Colt McCoy (2010–2011)
Tim Couch (1999–2003)
Bernie Kosar (1985–1993)
Brian Sipe (1974–1983)
Otto Graham (1946–1955)

The number of regular season games each player started during the season is listed to the right.

Season(s) Quarterback(s)
1946 Otto Graham (11) / Cliff Lewis (3)
1947 Otto Graham (9) / Cliff Lewis (5)
1948 Otto Graham (14)
1949 Otto Graham (11) / Cliff Lewis (1)
1950 Otto Graham (12)
1951 Otto Graham (12)
1952 Otto Graham (12)
1953 Otto Graham (11) / George Ratterman (1)
1954 Otto Graham (12)
1955 Otto Graham (12)
1956 Tommy O'Connell (5) / George Ratterman (4) / Babe Parilli (3)
1957 Tommy O'Connell (9) / Milt Plum (3)
1958 Milt Plum (12)
1959 Milt Plum (12)
1960 Milt Plum (12)
1961 Milt Plum (13) / Len Dawson (1)
1962 Jim Ninowski (7) / Frank Ryan (7)
1963 Frank Ryan (13) / Jim Ninowski (1)
1964 Frank Ryan (14)
1965 Frank Ryan (12) / Jim Ninowski (2)
1966 Frank Ryan (14)
1967 Frank Ryan (13) / Gary Lane (1)
1968 Bill Nelsen (11) / Frank Ryan (3)
1969 Bill Nelsen (14)
1970 Bill Nelsen (12) / Mike Phipps (1) / Don Gault (1)
1971 Bill Nelsen (13) / Mike Phipps (1)
1972 Mike Phipps (13) / Bill Nelsen (1)
1973 Mike Phipps (14)
1974 Mike Phipps (9) / Brian Sipe (5)
1975 Mike Phipps (11) / Brian Sipe (2) / Will Cureton (1)
1976 Brian Sipe (14) / Mike Phipps (2)
1977 Brian Sipe (9) / Dave Mays (4) / Terry Luck (1)
1978 Brian Sipe (16)
1979 Brian Sipe (16)
1980 Brian Sipe (16)
1981 Brian Sipe (16)
1982 Brian Sipe (6) / Paul McDonald (3)
1983 Brian Sipe (14) / Paul McDonald (2)
1984 Paul McDonald (16)
1985 Bernie Kosar (10) / Gary Danielson (6)
1986 Bernie Kosar (16)
1987 Bernie Kosar (12) / Jeff Christensen (2) / Gary Danielson (1)
1988 Bernie Kosar (9) / Mike Pagel (4) / Don Strock (2) / Gary Danielson (1)
1989 Bernie Kosar (16)
1990 Bernie Kosar (13) / Mike Pagel (3)
1991 Bernie Kosar (16)
1992 Mike Tomczak (8) / Bernie Kosar (7) / Todd Philcox (1)
1993 Bernie Kosar (7) / Vinny Testaverde (6) / Todd Philcox (3)
1994 Vinny Testaverde (13) / Mark Rypien (3)
1995 Vinny Testaverde (12) / Eric Zeier (4)
1996–1998 Suspended operations
1999 Tim Couch (14) / Ty Detmer (2)
2000 Doug Pederson (8) / Tim Couch (7) / Spergon Wynn (1)
2001 Tim Couch (16)
2002 Tim Couch (14) / Kelly Holcomb (2)
2003 Kelly Holcomb (8) / Tim Couch (8)
2004 Jeff Garcia (10) / Luke McCown (4) / Kelly Holcomb (2)
2005 Trent Dilfer (11) / Charlie Frye (5)
2006 Charlie Frye (13) / Derek Anderson (3)
2007 Derek Anderson (15) / Charlie Frye (1)
2008 Derek Anderson (9) / Brady Quinn (3) / Ken Dorsey (3) / Bruce Gradkowski (1)
2009 Brady Quinn (9) / Derek Anderson (7)
2010 Colt McCoy (8) / Jake Delhomme (4) / Seneca Wallace (4)
2011 Colt McCoy (13) / Seneca Wallace (3)
2012 Brandon Weeden (15) / Thad Lewis (1)
2013 Jason Campbell (8) / Brandon Weeden (5) / Brian Hoyer (3)
2014 Brian Hoyer (13) / Johnny Manziel (2) / Connor Shaw (1)
2015 Josh McCown (8) / Johnny Manziel (6) / Austin Davis (2)
2016 Cody Kessler (8) / Robert Griffin III (5) / Josh McCown (3)
2017 DeShone Kizer (15) / Kevin Hogan (1)
2018 Baker Mayfield (13) / Tyrod Taylor (3)
2019 Baker Mayfield (16)
2020 Baker Mayfield (16)
2021 Baker Mayfield (14) / Case Keenum (2) / Nick Mullens (1)
2022 Jacoby Brissett (11) / Deshaun Watson (6)
2023 Deshaun Watson (6) / Joe Flacco (5) / Dorian Thompson-Robinson (3) / P. J. Walker (2) / Jeff Driskel (1)

Most games started

Quarterbacks who have started for the Cleveland Browns from the team's first NFL season of 1950 to present. A player is credited with a win if he started the game and the team won that game, no matter if the player was injured or permanently removed after the first play from scrimmage. Only regular season games are included. The Browns' All-America Football Conference games from 1946 to 1949 are not included. The Browns did not field a team from 1996 to 1998.

Sorted by number of starts. Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in italics and most recent starter in bold.

Quarterback Games started Wins Losses Ties Winning pct.
Brian Sipe 112 57 55 0 .509
Bernie Kosar 105 53 51 1 .510
Frank Ryan 76 52 22 2 .697
Otto Graham 71 57 13 1 .810
Tim Couch 59 22 37 0 .373
Baker Mayfield 59 29 30 0 .492
Bill Nelsen 51 34 16 1 .676
Mike Phipps 51 24 25 2 .490
Milt Plum 51 33 16 2 .667
Derek Anderson 34 16 18 0 .471
Vinny Testaverde 31 16 15 0 .516
Paul McDonald 21 8 13 0 .381
Colt McCoy 21 6 15 0 .286
Brandon Weeden 20 5 15 0 .250
Charlie Frye 19 6 13 0 .316
Brian Hoyer 16 10 6 0 .625
DeShone Kizer 15 0 15 0 .000
Tommy O'Connell 14 10 3 1 .750
Kelly Holcomb 12 4 8 0 .333
Brady Quinn 12 3 9 0 .250
Deshaun Watson 12 8 4 0 .667
Jim Ninowski 11 5 6 0 .455
Trent Dilfer 11 4 7 0 .364
Jacoby Brissett 11 4 7 0 .364
Josh McCown 11 1 10 0 .091
Jeff Garcia 10 3 7 0 .300
Gary Danielson 8 5 3 0 .625
Mike Tomczak 8 4 4 0 .500
Doug Pederson 8 1 7 0 .125
Jason Campbell 8 1 7 0 .125
Johnny Manziel 8 2 6 0 .250
Cody Kessler 8 0 8 0 .000
Mike Pagel 7 2 5 0 .286
Seneca Wallace 7 1 6 0 .143
George Ratterman 5 2 3 0 .400
Todd Philcox 5 2 3 0 .400
Robert Griffin III 5 1 4 0 .200
Joe Flacco 5 4 1 0 .800
Jake Delhomme 4 2 2 0 .500
Dave Mays 4 1 3 0 .250
Eric Zeier 4 1 3 0 .250
Luke McCown 4 0 4 0 .000
Babe Parilli 3 1 2 0 .333
Mark Rypien 3 2 1 0 .667
Ken Dorsey 3 0 3 0 .000
Tyrod Taylor 3 1 1 1 .500
Dorian Thompson-Robinson 3 1 2 0 .333
Don Strock 2 2 0 0 1.000
Jeff Christensen 2 1 1 0 .500
Ty Detmer 2 0 2 0 .000
Austin Davis 2 0 2 0 .000
Case Keenum 2 2 0 0 1.000
P. J. Walker 2 1 1 0 .500
Don Gault 1 1 0 0 1.000
Gary Lane 1 0 1 0 .000
Len Dawson 1 1 0 0 1.000
Spergon Wynn 1 0 1 0 .000
Terry Luck 1 0 1 0 .000
Will Cureton 1 0 1 0 .000
Bruce Gradkowski 1 0 1 0 .000
Thaddeus Lewis 1 0 1 0 .000
Connor Shaw 1 0 1 0 .000
Kevin Hogan 1 0 1 0 .000
Nick Mullens 1 0 1 0 .000
Jeff Driskel 1 0 1 0 .000

Team career passing records

As of Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season.[5] Completion percentage and passer rating records are for players with at least 1500 pass attempts for the Browns.

Postseason

These Browns quarterbacks started during the postseason.

Season(s) Quarterback(s)
1946 Otto Graham (1–0)
1947 Otto Graham (1–0)
1948 Otto Graham (1–0)
1949 Otto Graham (2–0)
1950 Otto Graham (2–0)
1951 Otto Graham (0–1)
1952 Otto Graham (0–1)
1953 Otto Graham (0–1)
1954 Otto Graham (1–0)
1955 Otto Graham (1–0)
1957 Tommy O'Connell (0–1)
1958 Milt Plum (0–1)
1964 Frank Ryan (1–0)
1965 Frank Ryan (0–1)
1967 Frank Ryan (0–1)
1968 Bill Nelsen (1–1)
1969 Bill Nelsen (1–1)
1971 Bill Nelsen (0–1)
1972 Mike Phipps (0–1)
1980 Brian Sipe (0–1)
1982 Paul McDonald (0–1)
1985 Bernie Kosar (0–1)
1986 Bernie Kosar (1–1)
1987 Bernie Kosar (1–1)
1988 Don Strock (0–1)
1989 Bernie Kosar (1–1)
1994 Vinny Testaverde (1–1)
2002 Kelly Holcomb (0–1)
2020 Baker Mayfield (1–1)
2023 Joe Flacco (0–1)

Pro Bowl selections

These Browns starting quarterbacks have been selected to the Pro Bowl.[6]

Quarterback Season(s) selected
Otto Graham 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Tommy O'Connell 1957
Milt Plum 1960, 1961
Frank Ryan 1964, 1965, 1966
Bill Nelsen 1969
Brian Sipe 1980
Bernie Kosar 1987
Derek Anderson 2007

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Nadkarni, Rohan (March 24, 2016). "Timeline: Browns quarterbacks since 1999". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Wilder, Charlotte (September 13, 2016). "The Browns' quarterback woes are about to reach a historic new low". USA Today. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Knox, Luke. "Browns' QB Carousel". ESPN. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ Kerr-Dineen, Luke (October 9, 2016). "16 depressing stats about the Browns' never-ending quarterback crisis". USA Today. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Cleveland Browns Career Passing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  6. ^ "Cleveland Browns All-Pros and Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 13, 2023.