Browns trade QB Brady Quinn to Broncos
Brady Quinn will get a chance to start over in Denver. Whether
he’ll get to start is up in the air.
The Broncos acquired the former first-round draft pick from the
Cleveland Browns for fullback Peyton Hillis, a 2011 sixth-round
draft pick and a conditional pick in 2012.
The teams announced the trade Sunday and said the deal is
Ostensibly, Quinn will compete with Kyle Orton for the Broncos’
starting job, although coach Josh McDaniels was unavailable Sunday
to comment on the trade, according to a team spokesman.
Quinn’s departure comes one day after the Browns agreed to terms
with free agent Jake Delhomme on a two-year contract. Quinn went
3-9 in 12 starts for Cleveland, which drafted him with the 22nd
pick in the first round in 2007 out of Notre Dame.
From Dublin, Ohio, he was embraced by Browns fans as the
quarterback of the future. But it never panned out for the Browns
“I appreciate everything Brady did for us last year and in his
three seasons with the Cleveland Browns,” coach Eric Mangini said
in a statement. “He is professional in the way he goes about doing
his job and worked extremely hard at every aspect of his game. I
wish him the best of success in Denver.”
Quinn won Cleveland’s starting job last season, but was benched
after 2 1/2 games for Derek Anderson. Quinn eventually got his job
back when Anderson struggled but he was hindered by inaccuracy.
He completed only 53 percent of his passes last season for 1,339
yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. His rating was
Quinn’s days in Cleveland appeared numbered when new president
Mike Holmgren failed to endorse him as the Browns’ future starter.
Last week, the Browns acquired backup Seneca Wallace in a trade
with Seattle, released Anderson and hosted Delhomme, recently cut
Holmgren’s house cleaning continued Sunday, when he shipped
another former first-round draft pick, linebacker Kamerion Wimbley,
to the Oakland Raiders for draft picks.
The Broncos reportedly pursued Quinn last season when they were
trying to replace Jay Cutler.
Instead, they dealt Cutler to Chicago for a bevy of draft picks
and Orton, who beat out Chris Simms for the starting job in
The Broncos have insisted they’re happy with Orton, a
workmanlike leader who wasn’t allowed to throw downfield much last
season, when he led the Broncos to a 6-2 start before a 2-6 finish
kept them out of the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
That’s the longest drought in the 26 years Pat Bowlen has owned
the team. Bowlen recently said he likes Orton as his quarterback
but would like to see the Broncos draft a passer next month.
Those plans may now be on hold.
The Broncos lost confidence in Simms last season, so it would
appear he’s out of the picture with the acquisition of Quinn.
Last week, the Broncos offered Orton, a restricted free agent, a
first-round tender offer that would pay him $2.261 million this
Like hundreds of other players caught up in the league’s labor
issues, however, Orton is expected to boycott his team’s start of
offseason training, which starts Monday for the Broncos.
With the league ripping up the labor deal in hopes of getting a
more owner-friendly contract, dozens of players who were set to
reach the riches of unrestricted free agency this month are instead
bound by their teams, which are offering much less than the players
could have made in an unfettered marketplace.
Hillis will also be getting a fresh start.
He went from starting tailback under coach Mike Shanahan in 2008
to forgotten fullback under McDaniels, who adamantly refused to use
him even though rookie running back Knowshon Moreno frequently came
up short in short-yardage situations.
McDaniels insisted that the problems were on the line and not in
the backfield and that he’d rather give the ball to his top draft
pick. With Spencer Larsen banged up for much of the season,
McDaniels said his hands were often tied because he didn’t want to
risk running Hillis, who was often his only available fullback.
Hillis had just 13 carries for 53 yards last season. He was
inactive for two games, once to attend his grandmother’s funeral in
November. He also returned four kicks.
The 240-pound bone-rattler energized the Broncos in 2008 when he
emerged during an injury epidemic among the team’s tailbacks and
ran for a team-high 343 yards and scored six touchdowns before
tearing his right hamstring against Kansas City in December.
The Browns seemed to have found their No. 1 tailback late last
season in Jerome Harrison, who finished with a team-high 862 yards
rushing. But veteran Jamal Lewis, second on the team in rushing,
was released last month, which could provide an opening for Hillis
to be the power complement to the small and quick Harrison.
So Hillis gets another chance in Cleveland while Quinn tries to
jump-start his career in Denver.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this