After signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns in free agency, Jacoby Brissett is going to play a significant role in determining how successful the team is on the field in 2022.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Brissett said he's "excited" about the opportunity to be a starting quarterback and knows he will have to "prove" every day that he's capable of handling the job.
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to a settlement, with Deshaun Watson being suspended for the first 11 games of the regular season and fined $5 million for violating the league's personal conduct policy stemming from more than two dozen allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
Watson's suspension means he won't be eligible to play until Cleveland's Week 13-game against the Houston Texans on Dec. 4.
The Browns do have a favorable schedule to start the season if they want to help Brissett build his confidence. Their first four games are against the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons.
The Jets and Panthers finished last in their division in 2021. The Falcons had the fifth-worst point differential in the league (minus-146) and no longer have Matt Ryan as their quarterback.
The Steelers are an unknown right now because of the uncertainty over who will start under center. Mitchell Trubisky appears to have the inside track on the job, but rookie Kenny Pickett is being elevated to the No. 2 quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Things get considerably more difficult for the Browns after Week 4. They have games against the Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals before their bye in Week 9.
Brissett does have extensive starting experience over the past six seasons. The North Carolina State alum started 15 games in a season twice for the Indianapolis Colts (2017, 2019). He also made multiple starts for the New England Patriots as a rookie in 2016.
Tua Tagovailoa missed five games for the Miami Dolphins last season. Brissett started each of those games, posting a 2-3 record.
In 60 career appearances, Brissett has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 7,742 yards with 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Teams have gone 14-23 in his 37 starts.