Cody Kessler
refer to caption
Kessler with the Browns in 2017
Free agent
Personal information
Born: (1993-05-11) May 11, 1993 (age 27)
Bakersfield, California
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Centennial
(Bakersfield, California)
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 3 / Pick: 93
Career history
* Cleveland Browns ( 2016 2017)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
* USA Today High School All-American (2010)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Passing completions:224
Passing attempts:349
Passing yards:2,215
Passer rating:83.7
Player stats at

Cody David Kessler (born May 11, 1993) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He played college football at USC, and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft and spent the 2018 season as the backup quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars before being released in the 2019 offseason.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Kessler attended Centennial High School in Bakersfield, California, and played for Centennial's football team.[1] As a senior, he threw for 2,831 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was the California Gatorade Football Player of the Year.[2] He was ranked as the second best pro-style quarterback recruit by[3] He was teammates with Jared Norris at Centennial High School.[4][5] Following his senior season, Kessler played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[6]

College career[edit | edit source]

Kessler was redshirted for the 2011 season.[7]

In 2012, Kessler was a backup to Matt Barkley. He completed two passes for nine yards in a game against Colorado in his only action of the season.[8]

In 2013, Kessler competed with Max Wittek for the starting quarterback job. He ended up winning the job from Wittek.[9][10] His first pass touchdown came in the season opener against Hawaii to Nelson Agholor for 19-yards on August 29, 2013.[11] He was 25-for-37 for 288 yards and a touchdown in a win over Stanford to receive Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors.[12] Kessler led USC to a 10–4 record, finishing the year 7–2 under interim head coaches Ed Orgeron and Clay Helton.[13] Kessler was 22-for-30 for 345 yards with a career-best four touchdowns in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl rout over Fresno State, and received Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors.[14] For the season he completed 236-of-361 passes for 2,968 yards, 20 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.[15]

File:USC vs. Idaho (21186097519).jpg

Kessler playing for USC in 2015

In December 2013, USC hired former USC assistant and University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to replace interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Despite it being an open competition, Kessler beat out Max Browne and Jalen Greene for the quarterback spot in 2014. On August 30, 2014, Kessler threw for a career-high 394 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns against Fresno State, leading to his first of three designations as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.[16][17] On October 18, Kessler accounted for seven touchdowns against Colorado, the most ever by a USC quarterback, leading to his second designation as Offensive Player of the week.[18][19] In the final game of the regular season, he threw six touchdowns against rival Notre Dame, the most touchdowns thrown by a single quarterback against Notre Dame in the 127-year history of the program, leading one Los Angeles Times writer to label him a potential 2015 Heisman Trophy candidate.[20] This achievement led to his third designation as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, tying him with Marcus Mariota for the most designations for the 2014 season.[21] He finished the season completing 315 of 452 passes for 3,826 yards with 39 touchdowns and five interceptions.[22]

Kessler started his final season with the Trojans off on a positive note with 240 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over Arkansas State.[23] In the next game, he passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over Idaho.[24] The Trojans dropped their first game in the next matchup against Stanford with Kessler having 272 yards and three touchdowns.[25] In the next game, a victory over Arizona State, he had 375 passing yards, five touchdowns, and one interception.[26] After that game, the Trojans went on a stretch to finish 8–4 and play Stanford for the conference championship.[27] In the 41–22 loss in the championship game, Kessler had 187 yards and a touchdown.[28] In the final game of his collegiate career, the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin, he finished with 221 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the 23–21 loss.[29] Overall, as a senior in the 2015 season, he started all 14 games and completed 298-of-446 passes for 3,536 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.[30] He finished his career with 10,339 yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.[31]

Statistics[edit | edit source]

Year Team Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2012 USC 2 2 100.0 9 4.5 0 0 137.8 0 0 0.0 0
2013 USC 236 361 65.4 2,968 8.2 20 7 148.8 42 -124 -3.0 1
2014 USC 315 452 69.7 3,826 8.5 39 5 167.1 55 -152 -2.8 2
2015 USC 298 446 66.8 3,536 7.9 29 7 151.7 61 -149 -2.4 4
Career 851 1,261 67.5 10,339 8.2 88 19 156.4 158 -425 -2.7 7


Professional career[edit | edit source]

File:Cody Kessler.jpg

Kessler with the Browns in 2016

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 1¼ in 220 lb 4.89 s 1.68 s 2.90 s 4.00 s 7.32 s 29.5 in 8 ft 8 in

Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

2016[edit | edit source]

Kessler was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.[34] On June 9, 2016, the Browns signed him to a four-year, $3.85 million contract with a signing bonus of $664,788.[35][36]

Kessler began the 2016 season as the third-string quarterback behind Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. He became the backup quarterback after Griffin suffered an injury during the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.[37] On September 25, 2016, Kessler made his first career start after McCown was injured in Week 2. Kessler finished his debut completing 21-of-33 attempts for 244 passing yards as the Browns lost to the Miami Dolphins in overtime 30-24.[38] The following week, he earned his second consecutive start against the Washington Redskins and completed 21-of-40 pass attempts for 223 yards. Kessler fumbled twice, threw his first career touchdown on a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, and has his first career interception, which was intercepted by cornerback Josh Norman as the Browns lost 31–20.[39]

On October 16, 2016, Kessler completed 26-of-41 pass attempts for a season-high 335 yards and two touchdowns during a 28–26 loss to the Tennessee Titans.[40] The next game, he completed 9-of-11 pass attempts for 82 passing yards and suffered a concussion in the second quarter after Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko hit him during a pitch to tight end Gary Barnidge. The Browns went on to lose to the Cincinnati Bengals 31–17 and Kessler was replaced by fellow rookie Kevin Hogan.[41] In Week 11, Kessler made his eighth start of his rookie season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and finished the game with 7-of-14 attempts while throwing an interception.[42] In the third quarter, while being tackled by Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, Kessler suffered another concussion after he was hit by Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons. The Browns went on to lose 24-9. McCown started in Kessler's place the following week and Griffin became the starting quarterback after returning from injury during Week 14. In Week 16 against the San Diego Chargers, Kessler completed 2-of-3 passes for 11 yards after entering the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter after Griffin suffered an injury.[43][44] The Browns beat the Chargers 20–17 to win their first and only game of the season.[44]

Kessler finished his rookie season with 1,380 passing yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.[45]

2017[edit | edit source]

Kessler was inactive for the first six games of the 2017 season as the third-string quarterback behind Kevin Hogan and rookie DeShone Kizer.[46] After Hogan suffered sore ribs during Week 6 against the Houston Texans, Kessler was elevated to second-string.[46][47] During Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, Kessler entered the game in the third quarter after Kizer was benched. Kessler then completed 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards and an interception as the Browns lost in overtime by a score of 12–9.[48]

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit | edit source]

On March 28, 2018, Kessler was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick.[49]

On October 21, 2018, Kessler made his debut against the Houston Texans after the team benched Blake Bortles.[50] Kessler finished with 156 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the 20-7 loss.[51]

On November 26, 2018, Kessler was named the starter for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts as the Jaguars benched incumbent starter Blake Bortles.[52] After a rough start to their week 16 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, Kessler was benched in favor of Bortles for the rest of that game and for the Jaguars final game in week 17.[53]

On May 9, 2019, Kessler was released by the Jaguars.[54]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit | edit source]

On May 12, 2019, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Kessler three days after being released by the Jaguars. Kessler was expected to compete with Nate Sudfeld and rookie Clayton Thorson for the backup job to Carson Wentz.[55] On August 15, 2019, during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kessler had to leave the game after taking a hit from defensive end Datone Jones. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and did not return for the rest of the game.[56] He was waived during final roster cuts on August 30, 2019.[57]

NFL statistics[edit | edit source]

Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles Team record
Year Team G GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost W/L (as starter)
2016 CLE 9 8 128 195 65.6 1,380 7.1 44 6 2 92.3 11 18 1.6 0 21 140 4 1 0–8
2017 CLE 3 0 11 23 47.8 126 5.5 31 0 1 46.6 1 -1 -1.0 0 6 48 0 0 0–0
2018 JAX 5 4 85 131 64.9 709 5.4 35 2 2 77.4 19 123 6.5 0 22 149 5 3 2–2
Career 17 12 224 349 64.2 2,215 6.3 44 8 5 83.7 31 140 4.5 0 49 337 9 4 2–10


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Loving, Zuriel (September 20, 2016). "Former Centennial star Cody Kessler to start for the Cleveland Browns this Sunday" (in en-US). 23ABC News.
  2. Kessler named state's top player Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Webarchive/data' not found.
  4. Goon, Kyle (October 23, 2014). "Utes’ Norris, USC’s Kessler go way back". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  5. Facer, Dirk (October 23, 2015). "Utah football's Jared Norris, USC's Cody Kessler reunite as seniors". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  6. Ewing, Zach. "Centennial's Kessler selected to play in Army All-American Bowl" (in en). The Bakersfield Californian.
  7. "Perseverance finally pays off for Kessler" (in en-US). Daily Trojan. August 20, 2014.
  8. "Colorado at Southern California Box Score, October 20, 2012". Sports Reference. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  9. Cody Kessler, Max Wittek still competing to start for USC
  10. USC football: Max Wittek, Cody Kessler get final audition
  11. "USC at Hawaii Box Score, August 29, 2013" (in en).
  12. "Stanford at Southern California Box Score, November 16, 2013" (in en).
  13. "2013 USC Trojans Schedule and Results" (in en).
  14. "Las Vegas Bowl - Fresno State vs Southern California Box Score, December 21, 2013" (in en).
  15. "Cody Kessler 2013 Game Log" (in en).
  16. "Fresno State at Southern California Box Score, August 30, 2014" (in en).
  17. "USC routs Fresno State, 52–13, as freshmen shine". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  18. Thiry, Lindsey (October 18, 2014). "USC routs Colorado, 56–28, as Kessler throws for record seven touchdowns". LA Times. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  19. Markazi, Arash (October 18, 2014). "Cody Kessler has record effort". Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  20. "Notre Dame at Southern California Box Score, November 29, 2014" (in en).
  21. Plaschke, Bill (November 28, 2014). "USC's Cody Kessler looks like a 2015 Heisman Trophy candidate". LA Times. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  22. "Cody Kessler 2014 Game Log" (in en).
  23. "Arkansas State at Southern California Box Score, September 5, 2015" (in en).
  24. "Idaho at Southern California Box Score, September 12, 2015" (in en).
  25. "Stanford at Southern California Box Score, September 19, 2015" (in en).
  26. "USC at Arizona State Box Score, September 26, 2015" (in en).
  27. "2015 USC Trojans Schedule and Results" (in en).
  28. "Stanford vs Southern California Box Score, December 5, 2015" (in en).
  29. "Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Box Score, December 30, 2015" (in en).
  30. "Cody Kessler 2015 Game Log" (in en).
  31. "Cody Kessler Career Game Log" (in en).
  32. "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  33. "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Cody Kessler". National Football League.
  34. Cabot, Mary Kay (April 29, 2016). "USC quarterback Cody Kessler drafted by Browns at No. 93". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  35. " Cody Kessler contract".
  36. Cabot, Mary Kay (June 9, 2016). "Browns rookie QB Cody Kessler signs 4-year, $3.4 million contract". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  37. Cabot, Mary Kay (September 12, 2016). "Robert Griffin III on IR for at least 8 games with broken bone in shoulder; Josh McCown to start". Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  38. Maks, Patrick (September 25, 2016). "Cody Kessler, with support from hometown and teammates, shows promise in debut". Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  39. "Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins - October 2nd, 2016" (in en).
  40. "NFL Player Profile: Cody Kessler".
  41. Mary Kay Cabot (October 23, 2016). "After Cody Kessler's concussion, Josh McCown might be ready to start vs. Jets".
  42. "Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns - November 20th, 2016" (in en).
  43. "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  44. 44.0 44.1 Ruiter, Daryl (December 24, 2016). "A Christmas Miracle: Browns Hang On To Beat Chargers 20-17". Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  45. "Cody Kessler Advanced Stats and Metrics Profile: Efficiency".
  46. 46.0 46.1 Greetham, Fred (October 18, 2017). "Kessler moving up to backup QB role". Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  47. Risdon, Jeff (October 18, 2017). "Cody Kessler will back up DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan has rib injury". Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  48. "Browns' Cody Kessler: Throws interception in relief". October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  49. Wesseling, Chris (March 28, 2018). "Cody Kessler traded to Jacksonville Jaguars by Browns".
  50. "Blakes Bortles got benched and Twitter has feelings" (in en).
  51. "Blake Bortles benched vs. Texans after pair of fumbles" (in en).
  52. "Jaguars name Cody Kessler starting QB vs. Colts" (in en). November 26, 2018.
  53. Sessler, Marc (November 26, 2018). "Jaguars bench Blake Bortles, will start Cody Kessler".
  54. "Jaguars release Cody Kessler" (in en). May 9, 2019.
  55. "With Cody Kessler, Eagles add starting experience to QB room" (in en-US). May 12, 2019.
  56. "Kessler in protocol, latest QB injury for Eagles" (in en-US). ESPN. August 16, 2019.
  57. "Eagles announce first wave of roster moves as team works toward 53-player limit". August 30, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  58. "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 26, 2016.

External links[edit | edit source]


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