Franchise Quarterbacks

Cleveland Browns Tickets – Browns Cut Anderson, Begin Quinn Era

Under the guidance of new GM Mike Holmgren, it doesn’t seem that there will be much of a problem making big decisions for a franchise that has been notorious in those regards in the past.  The Browns recently released quarterback Derek Anderson, who has been vying for the starting QB job the last couple of seasons with first-round draft pick Brady Quinn.  This now should give the job outright to Quinn and allow the Browns to move forward into the Brady Quinn era without controversy surrounding the most important position.

For Anderson, it ends a puzzling career in Cleveland.  After being a backup for the 2006 season, Anderson shined in his opportunity to start in 2007, throwing 29 touchdown passes and encouraging the Browns to offer him a three-year contract extension.  Though the franchise and fans anticipated turning the quarterback job over to Brady Quinn after drafting him in the first-round in 2007 and being a Browns fan growing up, Anderson’s play could not be ignored and the Browns were left in limbo as Anderson continued to put up surprising numbers.

But after taking the league by storm in 2007, Anderson’s success did not continue in 2008, mainly due to a concussion that limited him to starting just 10 games.  Anderson was also nowhere near as effective as he had been previously, with whispers circulating that the league had caught up to him after coming out of nowhere in 2007.  By 2009, with Anderson’s play improving and his sizeable contract becoming an issue, the quarterback position became even more problematic for the Browns.  With Quinn having two seasons of sitting under his belt, it seemed to be an opportune time to give him the starting quarterback job, but Anderson’s contract mostly prevented it.

Heading into the 2010 season, however, the Browns have simplified the situation by cutting Anderson and bringing over backup quarterback Seneca Wallace from the Seattle Seahawks.  Though the athletic Wallace will provide a bit of competition for Quinn, it is very unlikely that there will be much of a challenge for the starting quarterback, and Browns fans can rest well knowing that hometown favorite Quinn will be the signal caller in 2010.

Obtaining a solidified direction for the franchise was a must for the Browns after going 5-11 a year ago and finishing in last place in the competitive NFC North.  With the Baltimore Ravens finding their franchise QB in Joe Flacco and bolstering their offense by trading for Anquan Boldin, the Browns are in need of a foundation to build upon in the 2010 season and beyond.  If Quinn can step into the role as the bona fide franchise quarterback, Brown fans would likely be elated.

Quinn’s ties to the Cleveland Browns were well-documented heading up to the 2007 draft, with childhood photos of him donning the Browns uniform circulating rapidly throughout the league and the media.  More than just a ploy to sell Cleveland Browns tickets, the Browns seemed to placing their franchise in the hands of Quinn with high aspirations for the future.

Anderson wasn’t the only Brown to get shipped from Cleveland, as the team also parted ways with defensive tackle Corey Williams, who has been a disappointment in Cleveland.  This opens up the likelihood that the Browns will look for a run-stopping defensive end in the upcoming draft, with the possibility that they could trade up a few spots to take one of the premier players available, like Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska or Gerald McCoy from Oklahoma.

More importantly than anything, however, the move to release Anderson finally will allow for a real evaluation of Quinn.  Though there is no way to determine right now whether or not Quinn will be the quarterback of the future in Cleveland, with Anderson out of the picture they finally have a chance to see Quinn develop over an entire season.  Whether he will sink or swim, Quinn now has what he has dreamt about since he was a kid: the chance to be the Browns’ starting quarterback.

About the Author

Written by David James, sponsored by StubHub. StubHub sells Cleveland Browns tickets, sports tickets, concert tickets, theater tickets and more to just about any event in the world.

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