NFL Rumors: Browns have pretty serious disadvantage in Jameis Winston chase

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly interested in Jameis Winston but are at a serious disadvantage in their pursuit of the nine-year veteran.

Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) warms up prior
Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) warms up prior / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns were one of the great stories in the NFL this past season, going 11-6 and making the playoffs despite Deshaun Watson looking like a shell of his former self and only appearing in six games all season.

The Browns cycled through five quarterbacks, eventually landing on veteran Joe Flacco who went 4-1 down the stretch, helping the Browns make the playoffs. Despite Flacco's heroics, the Browns appear to be eyeing a different option at the quarterback position, Jameis Winston.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that the Browns are one of three teams interested in Winston, joined by the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants. While the Browns have the best roster of the three, they also have the least appealing pitch of the three, putting Cleveland at a clear disadvantage.

Browns have their work cut out for them in Jameis Winston sweepstakes

The Browns want Jameis but want him to be the team's unquestioned backup to Watson. Despite how disastrous Watson's tenure has been in Cleveland thus far, he's under contract at an enormous cap hit through the 2026 season. They're going to give it more than 12 games before they think of changing course.

Watson's injury history makes it essential that the Browns have a strong backup in place, and Winston would be just that, but Jameis might have more appealing options elsewhere.

The Titans are a team without a clear solution at the quarterback position. Ryan Tannehill is a free agent, and youngsters Will Levis and Malik Willis are unproven. Winston would presumably be given a chance to earn the starting nod.

The Giants, another team that has reportedly shown interest, is also without a clear solution under center. Daniel Jones is getting paid as if he's the solution, but he's anything but. New York also just let Tyrod Taylor walk to the Jets, so the only other quarterback on their roster is Tommy DeVito. Winston should be given the chance to compete for the starting job.

The Titans and Giants don't have the weapons Cleveland does, but they'd be able to offer Jameis a bigger chance to play, putting the Browns at a clear disadvantage.