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Cody Kessler excited about 'fresh start' in Jacksonville

May
15
5/15/2018 2:43:16 PM
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Cody Kessler was ready to move on. He knew his time in Cleveland was coming to an end, Mike Kaye of First Coast News reports.

The third-year quarterback saw the signs of his impending departure. The actions taken by the Browns' coaching staff and front office were hard to ignore.

He was benched for the likes of DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan during his second year with the Browns, despite setting a handful of franchise records as a rookie. During the early offseason, the Browns went out of their way to curb the musical chairs at the quarterback position by trading for former Buffalo Bills starter Tyrod Taylor.
 

"My agent was talking to them, and obviously they got Tyrod [Taylor] and what happened last year, I think I didn't really have a future there," Kessler said during a phone conversation with First Coast News on Tuesday.

"I told my agent I wanted [another] opportunity ... It was kind of a long process through it all and obviously, I've only been in the league for two years, so I didn't really know how it worked but [my agent] just told me 'if that's what you want to do, we'll work on it and see what we can do.'"

On March 28, Kessler and fellow NFL quarterback and USC alumni, Matt Barkley, were playing a round of golf during a break from their offseason workouts. Kessler received a text from his agent indicating that he was traded to the Jaguars.

Kessler was excited by the opportunity, as he had studied his new team prior to their matchup against the Browns in Week 11 of last season. He saw the potential and positivity surrounding the franchise and wanted to contribute to its success moving forward.

"Once I heard the news, I was beyond excited," Kessler said.

Kessler was acquired by the Jaguars for a conditional 2019 seventh-round pick. It was an easy price to pay for Jacksonville, as the team was looking for a replacement for veteran backup quarterback Chad Henne.

Despite the predicament of being a backup again, Kessler was happy to have a fresh start, regardless of his role.

"Nothing against Cleveland, they drafted me and gave me an opportunity and I'm forever thankful for that but - yeah - with how last year went and kind of the situation I was dealt with, I definitely wanted to go somewhere else," Kessler said.

"Obviously, last year was tough and frustrating, not being able to get on the field, after having some success as a rookie," Kessler said.

"But I think it also prepared me for the mental side of it as well. When things aren't going your way, you just keep working and even though I wasn't playing, I went to practice every day and stayed after and did everything I could to prepare myself [as] a starter if I get that opportunity again someday, wherever it may be and that was just my whole process last year."

Kessler's outlook on the trade to Jacksonville has been nothing but positive.

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