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Browns quarterback clean sweep is not unprecedented

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 31: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during a break in the action in the third quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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The Browns taking a broom to their entire quarterback depth chart was certainly dramatic, and probably necessary.

It was not unprecedented.

Via Scott Patsko of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, this will be the fourth time in Browns history they’ve cleared out an entire year’s worth of quarterbacks and started with a new group the following season.

The Browns traded all three of last year’s quarterbacks, sending DeShone Kizer to the Packers, Cody Kessler to the Jaguars and Kevin Hogan to Washington. They’ve already acquired Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton, and will add another in two weeks when they draft one first overall.

Sometimes the wholesale changes work out. After the 1961 season, they traded Pro Bowler Milt Plum and released backup Len Dawson (a future Hall of Famer with the Chiefs). They traded for Frank Ryan and brought in Jim Ninowski as his backup, and two years later, won an NFL title with those two.

But as with most things Cleveland and quarterbacks, success tends to be short lived.

The last clean sweep was after the 2009 season, when they let Derek Anderson leave in free agency and traded Brady Quinn, and replaced them with Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, and Seneca Wallace.

After the 2004 season, they released Jeff Garcia, traded Luke McCown and let Kelly Holcomb leave in free agency, and replaced them with Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye.

And while a good Milt Plum reference wasn’t anything we were expecting today, the Browns can only hope it works out the way it did in the 1960s, instead of the way it generally has.