Mike Silver of NFL.com first reported the news:
Let's try that again: The Browns will release 2012 first-round draft pick Brandon Weeden on Monday, according to a league source @nflnetwork— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 12, 2014
The team later confirmed Weeden's release on its official account:
The #Browns have released QB Brandon Weeden, the team announced Wednesday.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 12, 2014
Shortly after cutting Weeden, the Browns announced they had cut QB Jason Campbell as well:
The #Browns have released QB Jason Campbell, the team announced Wednesday.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 12, 2014
The Browns selected Weeden with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. The Oklahoma State product posted big numbers in college, but due to an attempted career in baseball, he was 28 years old by the time he played his first game for the Browns.
Will Brandon Weeden get another chance to start in the NFL?
Unfortunately, Weeden never was able to meet the expectations of being a first-round pick. He started 15 games in his rookie season, posting a 5-10 record along with a 14-17 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His Total QBR of 27.0 ranked 33rd out of 36 qualified players, per ESPN.com.
Things only went further downhill in Weeden's second season. He was unable to win any of his five starts, posting a Total QBR of 24.7, per ESPN.com. Only Matt Flynn of the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders was worse.
The quarterback eventually lost his starting position to Brian Hoyer and later Campbell. After the season, Cleveland clearly believed it was time to cut its losses and start fresh with a new quarterback.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com did not hold back in his assessment of Weeden's past two seasons:
The Brandon Weeden era in Cleveland was just freaking outrageous. Start to finish.— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) March 12, 2014
Reuben Frank of CSN Philly noted that the Browns had other options in the draft:
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles finished the 2013 season with the best quarterback rating in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks also drafted Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson after Weeden in the 2012 draft.
The 30-year-old quarterback will now try to find a new home where he can get another chance to prove himself. Weeden recently explained, via Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman, "I want to play football. I don't care. I just want to play football and be at a place where it's enjoyable and we can compete and win games. That's really what it's all about."
It seems unlikely that he will be able to find a franchise that will automatically give him a starting job, but some clubs will certainly be on the lookout for a quality backup.
As for Campbell, the 32-year-old journeymen will likely have a few options as a backup in 2014. He actually played admirably in '13, throwing for 2015 yards while recording 11 touchdown passes and eight interceptions in nine games with Cleveland. Although it should be noted that Campbell only notched one win in eight starts for the Browns.
As for the Browns, all signs point to the team selecting a quarterback with the fourth pick in Round 1 of the upcoming draft. Players like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr are all potential options.
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