Commanders Sign QB Jacoby Brissett

Cleveland Browns QB Jacoby Brissett
Cleveland Browns QB Jacoby Brissett
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - The Washington Commanders are expected to sign former Cleveland Browns quarterback JAcoby Brissett in a deal first reported by ESPN's Dianna Russini. Further reporting from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler details the contract is one year worth up to $10 million, with $8 million in guaranteed money.

Brissett was signed by the Cleveland Browns two days after acquiring Deshaun Watson, serving as the stopgap for 11 games while Watson served his suspension. On the season, Brissett outperformed Watson in completion percentage (64.0% to 58.2%), yards per pass attempt (7.1 to 6.5), and yards per rush attempt (5.0 to 4.9) while also taking fewer sacks per game than Watson.

Brissett's 2022 performance ranked ninth among all quarterbacks in DVOA and 10th among quarterbacks in EPA/Play (per RBSDM). This is his second season with a positive DVOA as starter, previously achieving the feat as a starter for the Indianapolis Colts in 2019.

Since the beginning of the 2022 offseason, Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera has repeatedly expressed faith in 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell as a potential starting quarterback. Rivera appeared on NFL Network in early February and stated Howell "most certainly can be" the Week 1 starter and will "more than likely" go into camp as QB1. 


12 comments, Last at 18 Mar 2023, 12:59pm

#1 by KnotMe // Mar 15, 2023 - 7:14pm

I guess this was the option where he felt he had the best shot at a starting job. 

Points: 3

#2 by ImNewAroundThe… // Mar 15, 2023 - 7:26pm


Points: -3

#3 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 5:15am

By 2022 DVOA this is by far the best "good value" signing.

Commanders have two very good WRs McLaurin and Dotson. They have a lot of talent on the defense. They have good or better coaches in Rivera and Bienemy. On paper this should work well. In 2022 they were on the level of Giants, but with bad offense. If they improve the offense to 0% DVOA, they would get to the level of 2022 Dolphins and Lions. If they can make a good offense, than to the level of Cowboys and Ravens... this may or may not happen. We will see. 

Points: 0

#4 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Mar 16, 2023 - 8:26am

Looks like a great fit for both sides.  Bienemy now has a solid veteran to run an offense that already has a quality WR room.  Not sure about how good the OL is, but maybe that gets addressed in the draft.

The NFC East could be a very good division next year.

Points: 1

#6 by dmb // Mar 16, 2023 - 9:00am

Washington's OL isn't quite at the very bottom of the league, but it's not great. Tl;Dr: Lots of question marks...

  • Tackle: Vet Charles Leno has been a middle-of-the-pack starting LT; perfectly serviceable, no more and no less. On the right side, 2021 second-rounder Sam Cosmi has looked decent on the field but has struggled with injuries. The team picked up Andrew Wylie in free agency, whose athleticism stands out in the run game but who has struggled at times in pass protection (inside moves, and to a lesser extent, power-based moves seem to be particularly effective against him). One of Wylie or Cosmi are expected to bump inside to RG. Cornelius Lucas is a reasonable backup swing tackle.
  • Guard: Last year's starters -- vets Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell -- were both pretty awful. Turner is now a free agent. One of these jobs is expected to be taken by Wylie or Cosmi (see above), while the other may go to a high draft pick. Washington also signed Nick Gates -- a utility lineman who's played in virtually every spot but primarily inside -- who could potentially compete for a spot. Gates was injured for most of the past two years (due to a broken leg suffered, ironically, against Washington); for what it's worth, PFF has a fairly dim view of his work when he has been on the field.
  • Center: Washington has had an excellent starting Center in Chase Roullier; unfortunately, he's rarely seen the field the last two seasons due injury. He may be a cap casualty. They've also had a pretty good backup in Tyler Larsen, but Larsen has also suffered season-ending injuries in each of the past two seasons. The team just retained Larsen, who was headed into free agency. Nick Gates (see above) may also contribute here.
  • Coaching: The team fired OL coach John Matsko this week; he had worked for Rivera in both Carolina and Washington. I can't speak to his time in Carolina, but in Washington he certainly wasn't a miracle worker. In any case, this is a vacancy that needs filling at a somewhat unusual time.

Points: 0

#5 by MikeTolbertHOF // Mar 16, 2023 - 8:55am

I guess everyone assumes Brissett's performance last year was a fluke? This is a bummer landing spot for a top-ten DVOA guy, albeit with a mediocre track record. I thought Tampa made sense for him--certainly would rather have him than Baker.

Points: 1

#11 by Theo // Mar 18, 2023 - 12:21pm

When given the opportunity, I think Brissett will play better than Watson and Cleveland realizes they let the wrong guy go - sunk cost fallacy be damned. 


Points: 0

#7 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 10:33am

This was probably the best option for Washington short of getting Lamar Jackson(which I wouldn't do at the asking price he wants).

Brissett is hardly a world beater, but he's like the analytics dream of a value vet at QB.

I'd seriously rather have him at the dollar value he's being paid than Carr.

Points: 1

#8 by Mike B. In Va // Mar 16, 2023 - 10:51am

I don't know about over Carr, but he's certainly the current incarnation of Tyrod Taylor, the decent starter no one wants.

Points: 0

#9 by MaineRaider // Mar 16, 2023 - 5:05pm

Yeah, Tyrod Taylor has been plagued by untimely injuries and coaches who obviously didn't believe in him as a starter.

Points: 0

#10 by Noahrk // Mar 17, 2023 - 12:52pm

Maybe I'm biased, but Brissett was terrible in 2021. I'd rather have Heinecke.

Trying to be objective, it's likely Brissett can provide good value if he's surrounded by a strong supporting cast. I don't think the Commanders fit that description.

Points: 0

#12 by theslothook // Mar 18, 2023 - 12:59pm

I consider Brissett a tier 4 QB. Those guys by definition need optimal roster construction to avoid being flat out bad. This is kind of why tier 3 guys get paid; they give you more roster flexibility than tier 4 guys.


As for him vs Hieneckie, I think the difference is Brissett has a track record of proving what he is vs Hieneckie who at this point could even be worse than tier 4 (effectively the Kyle Allen tier of quarterbacking). 

Points: 0

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