Veteran wide receiver Andrew Hawkins will join forces with Tom Brady after announcing Wednesday that he will sign with the New England Patriots.
Hawkins, 31, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Cleveland Browns in 2014. In his three seasons in Cleveland, his starting quarterbacks were:
However, he’ll have the chance to be the Browns’ opening day starter and continue a chain of quarterback misery that has haunted the franchise since its rebirth in 1999. Over the past three seasons alone, Cleveland has started Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler, Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer, and Connor Shaw behind center. This season, Osweiler will have to beat out Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and second-round draft pick DeShone Kizer for the top spot on the depth chart.
Osweiler is technically correct. The past two years prove he’s capable of starting for a playoff football team. But his club’s success has often come in spite of him rather than because of any sort of foundation-building play at quarterback. The Browns don’t have the kind of supporting cast that can lead the league in yardage allowed like the Broncos and Texans have the past two years. Cleveland’s defense gave up more turf than all but one team last season.
Take that into account, and you could see an even worse Osweiler in 2017. That is, if he can work his way into the starting lineup this fall.