There are a few arguments about who are the worst team in the NFL over the last 15 years, and the Cleveland Browns are always mentioned in the discussion. Their record since reforming speaks for itself, but the fact that they still don’t have a starting quarterback with a winning record for the team probably screams much louder.
Since re-entering the league in 1999, the Browns have posted a 73-151 record. They’ve finished with a winning record only twice, making the postseason only once (2002). Maybe changing a quarterback twice a season isn’t the recipe to success. They’ve had 18 quarterbacks since the NFL’s expansion in 1999, and are still waiting for a QB to finish his tenure with the team boasting a better than .500 record.
Tim Couch was the number one pick for the Browns in the 1999 NFL Draft, and labeled as the man who’ll lead the franchise for years to come. Instead, he lasted until 2003 with the team and in the NFL, and is regarded as one of the biggest busts in history. He finished with a 22-37 starting record, throwing 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions.
Ty Detmer was with the Browns only for one season, playing as a backup and starting two games in 1999, losing in both starts. Doug Pederson started 8 games for Couch in the 2000 season, going a terrible 1-7, and is a dismal 3-14 as a starter during his career.
Next name? Spergon Wynn. Wynn was a 6th round pick in the 2000 draft for the Browns and started one game for the team that season, his only start for the team, completing 40.7% of his passes, not throwing a single touchdown. He was out of the league two years later.
Kelly Holcomb played in NFL Europe before making it in the big leagues, going undrafted in 1995. He was with the Browns four season (2001-2004), starting 12 times, and posting a 4-8 record with 26 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and completing 63.7% of his passes. Jeff Garcia, who had a pretty decent NFL career with a few teams couldn’t really win the Browns as well, going 3-7 as a starter for the team in 2004.
Luke McCown was another late draft pick by the Browns, lasting only one season with the team, starting for them four times in 2004, losing all 4 times, posting a 49% completion ratio. Trent Dilfer got to start 11 times for the Browns in 2005, posting a 4-7 record, throwing 11 touchdowns to his 12 interceptions, throwing for 2321 yards.
Charlie Frye is another quarterback picked by the Browns (3rd round, 2005) who didn’t really last: He started 19 times for the team in the 2005 & 2006 season, winning only 6 of them, throwing 23 interceptions to his 14 touchdowns. Derek Anderson, for a moment, looked like the guy who’ll change the trend.
In 2007, Anderson started 15 times for the Browns, leading them to their best season (10-6) since 1994, although it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. He threw for 3787 yards and 29 touchdowns that season, but that was where he and the Browns peaked, finishing his career with them after the 2009 season with a starting record of 16-18.
Brady Quinn was also the great next hope for a short while, but the first-round pick didn’t get to start in his first season, and posted a combined 3-9 in 2008 and 2009, throwing more touchdowns (10) than interceptions (9), which is the nicest thing you can say about his tenure in Ohio. Ken Dorsey had only three starts between 2006 and 2008, losing all of them. Bruce Gradkowski started one game in 2008, losing it as well.
Jake Delhomme was one of three starters for the Browns in 2010, and the veteran quarterback is the only one in the modern Browns’ history to not have a losing record; he went 2-2 in his four starts, despite throwing 7 interceptions to only 2 touchdown passes. Seneca Wallace also got to start that season (and in the next one), posting a 1-6 record during his time with the team. He was still on the roster in 2012, but didn’t play a single snap.
Colt McCoy , the team’s third round pick in 2010, is still with the team. He started 21 times for the Browns in 2010-2011, posting a 6-15 record, although he’s still regarded as a potential starter for the team, which probably speaks more about how unsure they are about Brandon Weeden.
Weeden was probably surprised to be a first round pick last season, but he started 15 games for Cleveland in 2012 and is the favorite to keep on doing it next year as well, although with a bit more competition. He went 5-10, completing 57.4% of his passes, throwing 14 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. Thad Lewis started the other game for the Browns, losing it, obviously.