In the wake of acquiring Deshaun Watson, the Browns are reshuffling the rest of their quarterback room.
Cleveland is sending veteran Case Keenum to the Bills for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Saturday. The Bills announced the deal Sunday.
The Keenum trade left the Browns in the market, as well. They've agreed to terms with former Dolphins and Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett, Pelissero added. Cleveland, of course, is also planning to deal Baker Mayfield after landing Watson from the Texans on Friday.
Keenum was one of the better backups in the league last season, winning both of his starts for Cleveland and posting a 91.3 passer rating in relief of Mayfield. The 34-year-old will now be serving behind Pro Bowler Josh Allen in his seventh NFL stop. Allen has made 55 consecutive starts for the Bills.
Brissett might be called to make some for Cleveland in 2022. The club just acquired Watson as part of a blockbuster exchange that included three first-round picks and a new, five-year, $230 million deal for the former Texans star. That was agreed to in the aftermath of a Harris County (Texas) grand jury's determination that there was not enough evidence to charge Watson with a crime following allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from massage therapy sessions. But the 26-year-old QB still faces 22 civil lawsuits and remains under NFL investigation, and is subject to potential discipline under the league's personal-conduct policy.
In 2021, Brissett started five games for the Dolphins but played in the better part of six in place of Tua Tagovailoa. He threw five touchdowns to four interceptions while Miami went 2-4. The 29-year-old Brissett has started 37 games over his six seasons, winning 14 of them while producing an 83.0 passer rating for his career.
The Browns' QB carousel likely won't end here, as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Mayfield is expected to be traded. With the Falcons turning their attention to Matt Ryan again, the Colts, Seahawks, Saints and Panthers are primary candidates to add a signal-caller.
Cleveland's work wasn't done for the day. The addition of Watson and star wideout Amari Cooper required the club to get creative with the books. Pelissero reported that the Browns have converted most of Cooper's $20 million base salary into a signing bonus, adding two void years and saving over $15M on the 2022 salary cap. The new wideout and QB will make a combined $66 million this year, but they'll count only about $15 million against the cap.