How lengthy will the Cleveland Browns Nick Mullens period final?


December 20, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) hands over running back Raheem Mostert (31) against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Mullens is a decent young quarterback pickup for the Cleveland Browns, but chances are a team will pick him up if the Browns don’t promote him soon.

the Cleveland Browns were able to win an impressive young quarterback for the training team in Nick Mullens. He has played 16 games in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, which is actually a lot for a third striker.

However, the fact that he’s on the training roster rather than the 53-player master roster suggests this is more of a hot date than a meaningful relationship at this point.

In fact, the Browns still have the phone number of Kyle Lauletta and even Garrett Gilbert (who is now on the New England Patriots Practice Team) and can bring them back if they want. Lauletta can be retrieved immediately, but Gilbert would have to wait until Monday September 13th, but he too can be added to the Browns’ 53 roster if the Browns make him an offer.

More on this is explained on page three of this essay.

That said, they currently have the option to work with Mullens, who is only 26 years old and who was at the Super Bowl as a backup for Jimmy Garoppolo. For now, Mullens is an interchangeable part of the training roster, but if he makes a strong enough impression on the Browns coaching staff, they might decide he’s worth developing.

In that case, he could be promoted to the 53-player list at some point. If not, he could be grabbed by another team, like the Cowboys grabbed Gilbert last year.

So who do we have here? In college, Mullens played for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, where he broke Brett Favre’s single-season record for passing yards (4,476) and touchdown passes (38). In the Combine he measured with the same ball speed as Patrick Mahomes (I don’t think so either, but he has a good arm).

His record with San Francisco is an unflattering 5-11, but he still knows what it’s like to start and win in the NFL, and as mentioned earlier, he was Garoppolo’s backup at the Super Bowl. The guess is that if the Niners were good it was Garoppolo, and if they were bad it was Mullens’ fault, but it might not be that simple.

Garoppolo’s passerby rating was 92.4 in 2020, while Mullens was 84.1. Jimmy G threw seven touchdown passes in six games, while Mullens threw twelve TD passes in eight games. There wasn’t much of a difference between the two quarterbacks. It may be that the 49ers were just not as good as a team in 2020 as they were in 2019. As always, the quarterback is to blame.

Mullens became dispensable when the 49ers acquired Josh Rosen and also designed Trey Lance, so Mullens was abandoned and claimed by Philadelphia. There he fell behind Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco and recently acquired Gardiner Minshew.

Minshew is a very good quarterback and there is no question that he is an instant upgrade for the Eagles. Hence, Mullens was cut loose. That doesn’t mean Mullens can’t play.

Mullens has a strong arm, a decent size, everything you could want in a quarterback. He can play, as demonstrated by 2018 San Francisco 49ers video highlights.

Mullens has the potential to keep improving. However, there are 31 teams in the NFL that are eligible to remove him from the Browns if they decide they want him. He’s not really Brown at this point. He has simply agreed to train with them for the time being.

Chances are he won’t be a Cleveland Brown for long unless he gets promoted to the 53-player roster.

That begs the question, should he stay in the 53-player roster?