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This is the third edition of this series that we'll be doing over the next few months, highlighting game-changing moves that have occurred since the end of last season. The first one was about keeping KR Joshua Cribbs a member of the Browns, and the second one was about the new look to the secondary this year. This week, we talk about something we lost: both of our "starting" quarterbacks from a year ago.
By "out with the old quarterbacks," I'm not referring to age. Both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn were fairly young players. Despite that youth, when the new front office came in, they didn't want anything to do with the tandem anymore. Anderson was released and he later signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Quinn was shipped to the Denver Broncos for fullback Peyton Hillis and some change. The tandem became the next generation of competing quarterbacks on the Browns to find themselves completely removed from the team within a year or so.
This post isn't meant to rehash the old quarterback debate on whether or not we should have kept Quinn and given him more time to develop. Instead, the post is meant to highlight how the decision impacts us this coming season. What's done is done.
The new front office showed that they did not have faith that either Anderson or Quinn would be successful quarterbacks in the future with the Browns. By shipping out both quarterbacks and bringing in veteran Jake Delhomme as opposed to someone else on the market (Donovan McNabb), it also sends a message that there isn't a rush to find a franchise quarterback just yet.
The team isn't going to make a move just for the sake of making it. That was clearly seen by the draft -- Holmgren reportedly shoved "all in" in an attempt to acquire Sam Bradford, but the Rams didn't budge. Rather than "settle" for a Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, or Jimmy Clausen, Holmgren and company thought better of it and decided to wait. Yes, I know we still ended up drafting McCoy, but by the time we selected him, it certainly came off as more of a "value pick opportunity" than a "this is the guy we wanted all along" message.
Keeping in mind that the quarterback situation will be handled carefully, that's where Delhomme will try to be a one to two-year holdover. Fans discounted the signing at first, but I think we've seen too many quarterbacks in the NFL have turnaround seasons to just write him off before we even see him in action in orange and brown.
If Delhomme struggles this season, fans will definitely be frustrated, but at least we shouldn't have the same old "Anderson vs. Quinn" debates where it's "pick your poison of horrible accuracy week" heading into every game. The Browns are starting fresh at quarterback with an old player, but we have an understanding of what his role is, and in the end, I think we can accept that knowing that a guy like Holmgren will eventually get the player he wants to become the face of the franchise.