Tyrod Taylor will be the Browns' starting quarterback in 2018.
Both coach Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey made that clear Thursday following a free agency frenzy that saw Cleveland add 10 new players to a reshaped roster. That, of course, includes Taylor, a two-time Pro Bowler who helped the Bills snap an 18-year playoff drought last season.
"He has arm talent, he can win games with his legs and he's a leader of men," Jackson said. "This guy's work ethic is second to none. He comes in early and stays late. He's a coach on the field. What he did in Buffalo by leading them to the playoffs says a lot."
Indeed, Taylor gives the Browns stability, experience and, perhaps most importantly, a winner at a position that's flummoxed the franchise over the years. Taylor, whom Cleveland acquired from Buffalo in exchange for its 2018 third-round pick (No. 65), will pull the levers in a new-look offense that also added three-time Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and bruising 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.
"You can definitely tell they're trying to win," Taylor said. "I'm looking forward to doing everything in my power to getting this community, getting this team back on the right foot and going out and winning games and playing meaningful football in January."
In Buffalo, Taylor accounted for the most combined touchdowns (65) and the second-most wins (23) by a Bills quarterback in his first three seasons. During that span, he completed 63 percent of his passes for 8,857 yards and threw just 16 interceptions. He's also amassed 283 carries for 1,575 yards.
His success, coupled with Cleveland's longstanding struggles at the position, inevitably cast Taylor into the spotlight on the heels of a winless season that saw their quarterbacks struggle. Against that backdrop, Dorsey described Taylor as a "natural fit" for Jackson and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and the caliber of player they need to help the team move forward.
Jackson agreed with that sentiment and also shrugged off the suggestion Taylor's presence as a bridge for whichever young quarterback the Browns, owners of the first and fourth picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, add later this spring.
"I get tired of hearing that word, 'bridge.' This guy is the starting quarterback on our football team. If this guy goes out and gets us this organization winning and gets us to the playoffs, none of you would be writing bridge anymore," Jackson said. "You'd be talking about, this is your quarterback … if we draft somebody that, in the future, is a better player, that'll all take care of itself in time. But he's not a bridge, he's our starting quarterback."
Taylor, who helped the Bills get over their playoff hump last season, hopes he'll have a similar effect in Cleveland.
"This guy walks in the building having more wins than a lot of people in this building," Jackson said. "Hopefully a lot of that good rubs off."