Campbell gets another chance in Cleveland

March 26, 2013

The Browns never stop surprising.
Late Tuesday night, the team announced it had signed quarterback Jason Campbell to a two-year contract. How this fits in the scheme of no stop-gaps is hard to figure, but it does give the team a guy who’s been in the league seven years to compete at quarterback.
Which is something.
Then again, if Brandon Weeden doesn’t win the starting quarterback job it would seem that the team is in big trouble. Campbell is 31, he’ll be on his fourth team and though he has size and a career quarterback rating of 82.5, he’s never caught on as a long-term starter.
Campbell was Washington’s first-round draft pick in 2006 (25th overall) and started the better part of three seasons for the Redskins (2007-2009), going 18-27 as a starter. In 2010, Washington’s Mike Shanahan traded Campbell to the Raiders for a fourth-round draft choice, as Shanahan preferred aging Donovan McNabb to Campbell.
Campbell had a chance with Oakland in 2011 and was playing fairly well, but he hurt his shoulder in a win over the Browns and shortly after the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer. Campbell washed up in Chicago last season, where he lost his only start.
Campbell was much liked by former Browns GM Phil Savage when he came out of Auburn, and he is 6-5. He also has completed 60.9 percent in his career, and has more touchdowns (76) than interceptions (52).
His yards per attempt, though, is just 6.7 for his career.
Place that in last season’s NFL — and Campbell played 77 games to establish that mark — and he’d have been 27th in the league, just ahead of Weeden.
Campbell, at 31, is actually two years older than Weeden right now.
The Browns talked about bringing in competition for Weeden this season, and they’ve done that.
It also appears that Campbell’s signing may mean the end of Colt McCoy’s tenure in Cleveland.
Even if he doesn’t start, Campbell would be a better and more experienced backup than McCoy.
If the Browns draft a quarterback they then would have Weeden, a veteran in Campbell and a developing player on the roster.
Campbell does not seem like a long-term solution, so the Browns will hope they get growth from Weeden. Having Campbell as a backup is better than some alternatives.