CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns could be in the market for a new backup quarterback.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and NFL.com, soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor reportedly will be a “top target” of the Miami Dolphins when the new league year starts on Wednesday.
Taylor began the 2018 season as the Browns’ starter, but after suffering a concussion in the first half of a 21-17 win over the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland in front of a national-television audience on Thursday Night Football on September 20, he served in a reserve role to record-setting rookie Baker Mayfield.
In four games with the Browns, including three starts, last season, Taylor completed 42 of his 85 attempts (49.4 percent) for 473 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions. Seven of Taylor’s passes went for 20-yard gains, while another one was a 40-yard play.
However, Taylor was sacked 13 times for 81 lost yards in the first three games.
“I think I did enough each and every week to put the team in a winning position,” Taylor said last October while watching Mayfield run the offense. “First week ended up in a tie, second week, had the game in our hands and, due to injury, was knocked out of the game in the third game. Small body of work. I definitely think that I’ve shown a bunch, but at the same time, it’s still early.
“I think, as a team, we were finding ourselves and we’re still finding ourselves now. It’s just a short body of work, but I definitely think that I did enough. I know who I am as a player. Whether you all agree or anyone agrees, that doesn’t necessarily matter to me. I know, when given opportunity, what I can do with the football in my hands.”
Knowing that he needed to overhaul the quarterback position after an 0-16 season in 2017, new Browns general manager John Dorsey sent a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Taylor last March.
During his seven-year run with the Baltimore Ravens and Bills, Taylor completed 793 of his 1,271 attempts (62.4 percent) for 9,056 yards and 51 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. Of those 793 completions, 116 went for at least 20 yards and 22 more were 40-yard gains.
In his three seasons with the Bills, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Taylor completed 774 passes for 8,837 yards and 51 touchdowns against 16 interceptions.