Source: Browns get QB Taylor from Buffalo

From ESPN - March 9, 2018

The Cleveland Browns found their young veteran quarterback Friday when they agreed to a trade with the Buffalo Bills for Tyrod Taylor, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Browns will give up a third-round pick, No. 65 overall, for Taylor, according to the source.

The trade for Taylor came on the same day Cleveland agreed to acquire wide receiver Jarvis Landry from Miami, a source told Schefter. In another trade, the Browns sent quarterback DeShone Kizer to Green Bay for cornerback Damarious Randall, and as part of the deal the teams also will swap picks in both the fourth and fifth rounds of this year's draft, a source told ESPN.

Taylor will join a team that owns the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks in this year's draft and seems focused on taking either USC's Sam Darnold or Wyoming's Josh Allen.

Taylor's acquisition would seem to take the Browns out of the free-agent quarterback market. It had been expected that the Browns would be interested in Cincinnati's AJ McCarron, but it's likely McCarron will not sign with a team that has Taylor.

The Browns were interested in Taylor a year ago, but he agreed to stay in Buffalo with a new contract just before the start of free agency. If he starts the opener, he will be the 29th starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999.

Taylor joins a Browns team that lacked a veteran and turned to Kizer for 15 starts as a rookie last season. Kizer was the Browns' second-round pick in the 2017 draft and won the starting job in a training camp competition with Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Coach Hue Jackson spoke glowingly of Kizer when he named him the starter, and stood by his talent throughout the season.

But Kizer struggled with accuracy and interceptions. His 6.1 percent interception ratio through the first five games was far and away the highest in the league and led to his being pulled from two games and benched for another. He finished the season with a league-high 22 interceptions.

Kizer's completion percentage of 53.6 percent was well short of the 60 percent target he said he needed. But he finished in the season finale with 314 yards passing and 61 yards rushing against Pittsburgh as he made a frantic attempt to get the Browns their first win.

When the season ended, he lamented the fact he would be remembered as the quarterback of an 0-16 team. When the season ended, Jackson said that Kizer would be back and would compete for the starting spot. His trade is a bit of a surprise in that the Browns never gave any indication they were eager to trade him.

Even after Friday's deals, the Browns still have the Nos. 1, 4, 33, 35 and 64 picks in this year's draft. The Bills now own two picks in each of the first three rounds: Nos. 21, 22, 53, 56, 65 and 96.

The trade will clear $10.44 million in 2018 cap space for the Bills, who had Taylor under contract through next season at $18.08 million. The Browns will inherit a one-year deal for Taylor that includes a $10 million base salary ($1 million of which is fully guaranteed) as well as a $6 million roster bonus due March 16.

Friday's trade leaves 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman as the only quarterback under contract for the Bills.


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