It would appear the Cleveland Browns have made a decision at quarterback. Head coach Hue Jackson announced on Wednesday that DeShone Kizer will start the team’s third preseason game this weekend.
When a team has questions about a position, the player who starts Week 3 is usually the one who will claim the starting job. The third preseason game is viewed as a “dress rehearsal” type of game, with starters usually getting two quarters of snaps, and sometimes playing into the third quarter.
The Browns spent a second round pick on Kizer, in a move that came a month and a half after they acquired Brock Osweiler and a second round pick from the Houston Texans. The Osweiler trade was viewed by many as a salary dump, but the team gave him first team reps for stretches of time. It seemed like Osweiler might win the job, but that would appear not to be the case. Jackson would not name Kizer the starter for Week 1 of the regular season, but he did say, “he is certainly positioning himself well to earn the starting job heading into the regular season.”
This does not remove the Browns from the 2018 quarterback market, but it does give them a chance to see how badly they need to invest in the position. A solid season from Kizer would potentially preclude them from spending another high pick on the position, or making a run at Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo. It does not guarantee they would be out of the market, but it could shake things up a little bit.