The Cleveland Browns have agreed to a two-year contact with free agent quarterback Drew Stanton.
The team announced the pact on Sunday night. The Browns met last week with Stanton while they were in California scouting UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold — two quarterbacks in the mix to be selected by Cleveland with the No. 1 overall draft pick next month.
The 33-year-old Stanton will likely be a backup for Tyrod Taylor, recently acquired in a trade with Buffalo. Cleveland also currently has QBs Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan on its roster.
Stanton’s arrival eliminates any expectation for Cody Kessler or Kevin Hogan to have a spot on the active roster. Both are eligible for the practice squad.
Kessler, 24, went 0-8 as starter when he was a rookie in 2016 and didn’t start last season. Hogan, 25, lost his lone career start last season. They were the backups behind DeShone Kizer, 22, last season. Kizer went 0-15 as a starter during his rookie season. The Browns finished 0-16 and then traded Kizer to the Green Bay Packers this offseason.
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Stanton, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, fits the mission of new Browns General Manager John Dorsey to assemble an older, more experienced roster.
Stanton spent the past five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and went 9-4 as a starter for them, including 3-1 last season. He completed 49.7 percent of his passes for 894 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions for a rating of 66.4.
A second-round pick (No. 43 overall) of the Detroit Lions in 2008, Stanton has completed 52.4 percent of his career passes for 4,059 yards and 20 TDs with 24 interceptions for a rating of 66.3. He also went 2-2 with the Lions, so his career record as a starter is 11-6.
Taylor, 28, went 22-21, including 0-1 in the postseason, as the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, who traded him to the Browns on March 9 for a third-round pick (No. 65 overall) in next month’s draft.