Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 12
The #Browns have released QB Brandon Weeden, the team announced Wednesday.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 12, 2014
Given the turmoil surrounding one of the most unstable organizations in sports, it makes sense that maligned quarterback Brandon Weeden reportedly desires to be traded away from the Cleveland Browns.
The 2012 No. 22 overall pick hasn't panned out as the long-term answer under center he was expected to be, and NFL Media columnist Mike Silver reported Tuesday that Weeden wants out:
Mike Silver: Brandon Weeden wants out of Cleveland.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) February 12, 2014
A subsequent report by NFL.com's Chris Wesseling expounded more on the situation and documented what two sources close to Weeden told Silver.
"Given the turmoil with the coaching staff and lack of public support from the most recent front office," said the sources, "he's interested in a fresh start, with a clean slate and an opportunity to compete to show he has the talent to develop into a productive player in the league."
This comes after Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced general manager Mike Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner would no longer be with the team on Tuesday. It was meant to essentially streamline the organizational hierarchy with regard to decision-making.
"I felt like the previous setup was a little bit cumbersome," said Haslam, per the Northeast Ohio Media Group's Mary Kay Cabot. "I think that the way that we're organized now is much more streamlined. It will be much more efficient and much clearer in terms of who's in charge of what."
That prompted ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi to supply his opinion on Haslam's drastic changes to the front office:
Streamlining isn't quite right word for what #Browns did on Tuesday. Nuking comes to mind.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) February 11, 2014
Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer weighed in on the current state of affairs in Cleveland with regard to Weeden's situation:
If that ain’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is. RT @NFL_ATL: Mike Silver: Brandon Weeden wants out of Cleveland.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) February 12, 2014
Head coach Bruce Arians runs a vertical-based passing attack in Arizona and has an aging quarterback in Carson Palmer who is less mobile than Weeden. Then again, Palmer has at least proven to be a productive pro and just led the Cardinals to 10 wins in 2013.
The Bucs already have a potential QB of the future in last year's third-round pick, Mike Glennon, who played well in his rookie campaign but could be pushed by someone like Weeden as competition.
But how much competition would Weeden offer Glennon if he couldn't beat out the likes of Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer, to the point where he only played in eight games this past season?
New Texans coach Bill O'Brien is a known QB guru who's worked with the likes of Tom Brady. Perhaps he could embark on a developmental reclamation project if Weeden came to town. Houston does have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, though, and all three options—Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel—seem more promising than Weeden has been as a pro.
Will Brandon Weeden ever succeed in the NFL?
Weeden worked in a vanilla West Coast offense under coach Pat Shurmur as a rookie, then had to adjust to a new system in year two—albeit under a system more tailored to his strengths by offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
Instead of progressing, the 30-year-old Weeden appeared to regress, failing to get rid of the ball on time, rifling underneath passes too hard, making no more than two reads and often locking onto his primary target.
None of that bodes well for his NFL career continuing—much less his chances of being traded.
At the very least, any prospective suitor could look at the disastrous situation the Browns have had since Weeden arrived, see the former Oklahoma State star's arm talent and perhaps become intrigued enough to acquire him.
The NFL is a bottom-line business, though, and the reality is that Weeden (5-15 as a starter) has thrown 23 touchdowns to 26 interceptions with a 71.8 passer rating and a 55.9 percent completion percentage. His moxie and dealings with the media are those of a first-class professional.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for his football acumen. Weeden is also a tough sell because of his advanced age and disproportionate experience in the league.
Chalk this up as another misfire for the Browns at QB. It seems Weeden has no desire to stay in Cleveland, and the Browns' new-new regime led by GM Ray Farmer probably has no interest in keeping him around, either.