Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns agree to contract
Browns QB agrees to $20.2 million deal
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tony GrossiPlain Dealer Reporter
The attributes you hear most about Brady Quinn are "hard worker" and "quick learner." The Browns will find out if those are accurate as the rookie quarterback tries to make up 16 practices missed in an 11-day holdout.
Quinn became the last Browns draft pick in the fold when he and the team agreed to terms on a five-year contract for $20.2 million, including $7.75 million in guarantees.
The maximum value of the deal can reach $30 million if Quinn triggers salary escalators in the fourth and fifth years.
He can do that by playing 55 percent of the offensive snaps in any two of the first three years or 70 percent in the third year.
Both sides of this dispute said the holdout was easily avoidable. Negotiations began May 23, but the bulk of progress did not happen until last weekend.
Quinn is the 30th of 32 NFL first-round picks to agree to terms.
The Browns picked him 22nd overall after trading Dallas a 2007 second-round pick and their first-round pick next year.
Matt Leinart, also represented by Quinn agent Tom Condon, missed the majority of Arizona's training camp last summer and still took 69 percent of the team's snaps in the regular season. Leinart took over as the starter in Game 5 and played through Game 15. A shoulder injury kept him out of Game 16.
Whether Quinn can match that playing time in his first season as the Browns' "quarterback of the future" depends on factors beyond Quinn's readiness, such as the play of the quarterback who starts the season, the team's won-lost record and perhaps the health of the revamped offensive line.
Quinn will begin his first day on the job fourth on the depth chart behind Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey.
Coach Romeo Crennel, who did not warm to holdouts Braylon Edwards and Travis Wilson in their rookie years, again referred to Quinn as "the quarterback" when he addressed the media.
"He's behind, so he has to catch up," Crennel said. "He has to put in extra time, work extra to try to catch up. We're gonna put him at the bottom of the chart and see where he is.
"We'll let him compete, but I'm not putting him on the first team tomorrow. I'm telling you that right now. And he won't be starting the game on Saturday night. We'll see where he is, and when we think he's ready, we will put him in."
Crennel would not rule out playing Quinn in the exhibition opener Saturday against Kansas City, though he conceded it might be for two plays, which would be handoffs to backs.
Earlier, General Manager Phil Savage opined that it would be "a lot to ask" for Quinn to play in the game.
Quinn's holdout might not be as much of a factor if he had been impressive in the 21 organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp practices conducted prior to summer recess in June.
Crennel asserted that was not the case.
"I have the feeling he was lost in OTAs, because that's what he was," Crennel said. "He will study, I know that. He'll get here early and he'll stay late. If you put in those kind of hours, you have a chance. Plus I believe he's a smart kid, also, on reports from some people I know [Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis]."
Crennel's initial assessment of Quinn's future was "I think he'll be able to function as an NFL quarterback."
Quinn arrived at the Browns' facility at about 7 p.m. and signed the contract later in the evening. He had been working out during his holdout in Tempe, Ariz., at Athletes Performance Institute. He is scheduled to meet the media this morning at 8 and then begin his personal cram session in meetings with coaches.
Quinn will join teammates on the field today in a two-hour practice closed to media and fans.
Quinn's arrival comes at a welcome time for all involved - including the quarterbacks on hand. The Browns were the only team with as few as three quarterbacks in camp, and two of them have privately complained about overwork, according to nfl.com analyst Pat Kirwan, who visited Browns camp on Friday.
"No one's come to me and complained about their arm being weary," Crennel said. "But they have made a lot of throws. They could be a little fatigued. When they come to me and say their arm is tired, that's when I'll back off."
Savage acknowledged that arm weariness may have set in, but he said, "That had nothing to do with the contract with Brady."
The deal appears to have been done when the sides split their differences on guaranteed money and the Browns softened their stance on the escalator triggers.
source: http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plainde ... xml&coll=2