Turning around the Cleveland Browns looks like a daunting task for new general manager John Dorsey. But he could set himself apart from all the other failed executives before him if he can finally be the one to find a quarterback for the team.
It's really the reason he was hired.
"The Cleveland Browns are not going to be successful until we have a quarterback," team owner Jimmy Haslam said Friday. "We obviously have DeShone [Kizer], we have two other quarterbacks on the roster, we're going to look at free agency, we're going to look at the draft ... We're going to do whatever it takes to find a quarterback we need to be successful.
"That will be John's No. 1 priority. During the process — we've gotten to know each other really well over the last few weeks — I think he would tell you if you ask him, 'What did Jimmy ask you about more anything?' It was about quarterback."
In the last two years, the Browns had the opportunity to select Carson Wentz or Deshaun Watson, but traded away the picks the Eagles and Texans used to take the pair of quarterbacks. Both passers have found success early in their careers with the Eagles and Texans respectively, while the Browns have dealt with a carousel of struggling quarterbacks.
In the last 20 years, 29 different quarterbacks have thrown at least 20 passes for the Browns, but the highest rated passer of that group is Cody Kessler at 87.4.
Joe Thomas was drafted in 2007 and has already blocked for 20 different starting quarterbacks after adding DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan to the list in 2017.
But it's up to Dorsey to finally end that sorrow and he'll have the resources to do it. The Browns are close to locking up the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft and will possibly receive a top-10 selection via the trade that landed Watson with the Texans.
"This is the quarterback-driven league," Dorsey said Friday. "We all know that and we know that to succeed and to go a little bit farther and farther and farther, you need one of those guys."
Cleveland is also among the league leaders in cap space. The Browns could make a move for a player in free agency like former trade target AJ McCarron, who has a history with Hue Jackson and nearly became a member of the Browns in October.
There's also the possibility that Kizer ascends from his train-wreck rookie season to become a player of the future for the Browns. Dorsey was complimentary of the quarterback and said the Kansas City Chiefs took a close look at Kizer when he was general manager.
"I like the rookie quarterback who is here now," Dorsey said "Coming out in the draft we actually brought him up as one of the four or five quarterbacks in terms of the 30 player visits."
The Chiefs eventually landed on Patrick Mahomes as the team's investment at quarterback, but Dorsey didn't get to see his development come to fruition. Kansas City fired the general manager in June, two months after the draft.
Dorsey was also the man behind the Chiefs' trade for Alex Smith and was the director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers when the team picked Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005.
The Browns have been a seemingly cursed franchise at the quarterback position, but Dorsey will have as good a shot as any at finally fixing the problem.