The Browns still don't know how long Deshaun Watson might be suspended in 2022. With camp just days away, they're preparing for all scenarios.
Following the acquisition of Watson, the Browns rebuilt their quarterback room this offseason, signing veterans Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs to one-year contracts and shipping Baker Mayfield to Carolina and Case Keenum to Buffalo. The new faces fit the changes expected to come from Cleveland's offensive scheme, but as the wait on a Watson ruling has dragged on, the Browns have realized they might need another arm for training camp.
A former standout at Alabama, McCarron has been around the NFL block. He began his career as a backup in Cincinnati and flashed some competitive capability before moving onto Oakland in 2018 and spending 2019 and 2020 in Houston. In 2021, he found an opportunity as a backup to Matt Ryan in Atlanta, but suffered a torn ACL in the preseason.
McCarron's brief moment in the sun in Cincinnati nearly led the Browns to acquire him at the 2017 trade deadline for 2018 second- and third-round picks -- a rather significant compensation package, but one that fit a franchise desperate for a legitimate quarterback -- but Cleveland failed to properly file paperwork before the deadline.
Rosen, meanwhile, has bounced around the league after being drafted into a less-than-ideal situation in Arizona in 2018. He washed out of the desert by virtue of the Cardinals' anointing of Kyler Murray, then made uneventful stops in Miami, Tampa Bay and San Francisco before landing in Atlanta last season.
Yes, that's correct: The Browns are working out two Atlanta backups from last season. If McCarron hadn't suffered his ACL tear in the preseason, Rosen likely wouldn't have ended up with the Falcons, where he was fortunate to see time in four games last season.
Each has followed unique paths. They'll both hope to continue their careers somewhere in 2022, and it just might be Cleveland.