When talking Cleveland Browns quarterback the word that’s been coming out of Berea all offseason has been that of competition. As the options became few and fewer on the free agent market the question loomed, who would the Browns bring in to compete with second year qb Brandon Weeden? Colt McCoy, who was sold as Weeden’s “competition” last offseason was quickly relegated to the back up role. McCoy also lacks the arm strength to run Norv Turner’s vertical offense. Yesterday, the Browns answered that looming question by signing free agent quarterback Jason Campbell.
The Browns will be Jason Campbell’s fourth stop in his NFL career. Campbell was the third quarterback taken in the 2005 NFL Draft behind the 1st overall pick Alex Smith and one pick behind Aaron Rodgers who was picked 22nd. Campbell has been a solid NFL quarterback yet unspectacular. That being said he’s very much an upgrade over Colt or any player they would choose in the upcoming draft.
Jason Campbell is not a guy who is going to set the world a fire. That being said Campbell is very capable of being an adequate NFL quarterback if Brandon Weeden were to self destruct. Campbell’s career quarterback rating of 82.5 would have been the 19th best in the NFL last season. His arm and experience, give him the ability to push Brandon Weeden during this offseason and in fall camp.
An indirect benefit of adding Campbell is that it puts the Browns in the position to be able draft a developmental quarterback later in the draft. With two quarterbacks on the roster there is no worry of having to throw the young qb to the wolves if an injury occurs. Even if the team gains a comfort level with Weeden they need to have someone they are grooming for the future. Lombardi is an unabashed lover of Ryan Mallet. Tyler Bray of Tennessee is very similar in size and big arm to Mallet, but he needs seasoning.
How nice would it be Browns fan to have Brandon Weeden step up and take the starting position by the reigns, have a competent back up in Campbell, and have a guy like Bray with good upside to groom for the future? A guy can dream right?
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