Cody Kessler will be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 2017 unless another quarterback takes that title from him.
Hue Jackson is settled on this matter as the Browns get ready to open up the quarterback competition heading into OTAs and training camp.
“This thing’s open. It really is,” Jackson said Saturday after the team’s second rookie camp practice, via Pat McManamon of ESPN. “But Cody’s done a great job. That’s the reason I brought his name up first. He’s really improved. He’s worked his tail off, and he deserves the right and the opportunity to walk in this building and walk out there first.
“And they’ve got to take it from him.”
The quarterbacks with a chance to take the job from Kessler are Brock Osweiler, Kevin Hogan and second-round rookie DeShone Kizer.
Kizer likely needs a season or two before he’s going to be ready to take over as the starter, if he ever becomes that guy for the Browns. Even he admitted he probably left college before he’s ready to take on what the NFL has to offer.
That leaves Osweiler and Hogan. We already know Hogan’s not going to be the guy unless injuries make him the only option — he was horrid last year in his limited time. This means it will almost certainly boil down to either Kessler or Osweiler.
On that note, Jackson provided some insight into how he views Osweiler — a guy who’s only in the locker room because the Browns landed a second-round pick next year to take on his contract.
“He’s competing,” Jackson said. “He’s here. And I said from the beginning, if a guy is in our locker room we’re going to treat him like any of our other players.”
In the history of ringing endorsements, this ranks somewhere near the bottom.
Clearly, the job is Kessler’s to lose right now. Maybe Kizer can do something to change our minds this summer. But for now, it certainly appears Kessler will be under center in 2017 until either he gets injured or someone else steps up in a big way.