Editor’s note: As part of NFL’s Greatest Quarterback, fans will decide the best QB in each team’s history.
Otto Graham: Graham is considered one of the best winners and best quarterbacks in NFL history after winning seven championships during his 10 years playing pro football. He started with the Browns in the AAFL — early competition to the NFL, that ceased after the 1949 season — in 1946.
The Brows won all four AAFL championships during the league’s history. The Browns’ success didn’t stop there as Graham and the Browns won three more NFL championships in 1950, 1954 and 1955 — Graham’s last year in the league. Graham won two AAFL MVPs during his career, three NFL MVPs, he was voted to the Pro Bowl five times and he was a nine-time All-Pro selection. His career 9.0 yards per attempt is still an NFL record.
Frank Ryan: Ryan has the honor of leading the Browns’ last championship team in 1964. That season was also his first of three years that he was named to the Pro Bowl. Ryan is also one of few NFL players to earn a Ph.D. during his time in the league. He graduated from Rice’s masters program with a doctorate in mathematics in 1965.
During his time as a Cleveland quarterback, he was also an assistant professor at the Case Institute of Technology. After retiring from football, he was named the Director of Information Services for the U.S. House of Representatives. In his time since football, he has also served as Yale’s athletic director and Yale’s Associate Vice President for Institutional Planning.
Brian Sipe: Sipe played his entire career with the Cleveland Browns after getting drafted in the 13th round by the team in 1972. It took him four years before earning a full-time starting role, and in return, the Browns finished 9-5 with the San Diego State product at the helm. Sipe’s best season came in 1980, when he won the NFL MVP, first-team All-Pro honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Sipe threw for 4,132 yards that year with 30 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions, while completing 60.8 percent of his passes. Sipe and his Browns teammates were known as the Kardiac Kids in 1979 and 1980 for their comeback victories. Sipe lead the team to eight comebacks and eleven game-winning drives during that two-year span.
Bernie Kosar: One of the chief reasons for all the animosity that Cleveland fans have towards Bill Belichick is that he dared to bench the Browns’ legendary quarterback, Kosar. Kosar was one of the few rookies in NFL history who was allowed to hand pick his team. Kosar was eligible to enter the 1985 draft, but chose to enter the supplemental draft instead because his hometown Cleveland Browns had traded to acquire the rights to the first pick in the 1986 draft — therefore also acquiring the No. 1 pick in the supplemental draft.
Before Kosar made his intentions known, the Minnesota Vikings traded up in the 1985 draft with plans to take Kosar. They didn’t do so bad themselves as they picked hall-of-famer Chris Doleman that year. The Browns made the playoffs in Kosar’s first five seasons as a starter in Cleveland. He was a one-time All-Pro and one-time Pro Bowler.