The dots already are being connected in Cleveland for the Browns being a potential landing spot for Tyrod Taylor if the Buffalo Bills decide to cut him loose.
The Browns' hiring of David Lee as their new quarterbacks coach, a position he held for the past two seasons in Buffalo, has prompted speculation that Taylor has a prominent spot on their radar.
It makes sense on a few counts.
One, the Browns are searching for a long-term answer at quarterback. Two, Lee is known to have been a strong advocate for Taylor dating back to the 2015 offseason, when he was signed as a free agent to be part of a three-way competition with EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel for the Bills' starting job. Three, Browns coach Hue Jackson is considered a quarterbacking guru capable of getting the most out of players at the position. Last season, he had another quarterback, Robert Griffin III, who, like Taylor, is known for his mobility.
But Griffin, thanks to a series of injuries in the past five seasons with the Washington Redskins and Browns, is not as mobile as Taylor. It could be argued that no quarterback in the NFL matches his ability to run, and that is something Jackson values.
Lee, who joined the Bills two years ago as one of the assistants Rex Ryan brought with him to Buffalo from the New York Jets, was highly encouraged by the progress Taylor showed after his first full NFL season as a starter in '15. In one of the few interviews he granted with the media, he noted that a camera affixed to the quarterback's helmet during offseason workouts in 2016 showed that Taylor was doing a better job in the area considered to be his greatest weakness: seeing the middle of the field.
Lee also was known to have been aligned with Ryan and then-offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn in pushing back when General Manager Doug Whaley wanted rookie Cardale Jones to replace Taylor as the Bills' starter through the final three or four games of the season, even with the Bills' still alive for a playoff spot.
A source familiar with the situation said that, while Lee was impressed with Jones' physical skills, he thought he wasn't mature enough to grasp the considerable amount of work necessary in preparation to perform at his very best and was distracted by off-field issues.
Lee was known to have encouraged Jones to watch how much time and effort Taylor and Manuel put into studying videotape and the game plan.