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Quinn agrees to 5-year deal with Browns

Posted by zewkey on August 8, 2007

Jay Glazer
FOXSports.com

The Brady Quinn saga is now officially over.

The rookie quarterback has agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. The deal is worth $20.2 million, and could reach a total value of $30 million with escalators. The contract contains $7.75 million in guaranteed money.The deal, which was agreed to Tuesday morning, has not yet been signed, but Quinn was en route to Cleveland to join his teammates on Tuesday.

The No. 22 pick in this year’s draft out of Notre Dame, Quinn had been working out in Tempe, Ariz. at Athletes Performance Institute, and last week said he was hoping his holdout would end soon.

His hopes have now been answered.

Quinn’s absence, however, has all but ensured he will not win the Browns‘ starting job, which has become a two-man contest between Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson.

Browns coach Romeo Crennel noted that Quinn looked lost when he practiced with the team in May and has a long way to go.

“He’ll get here early and he’ll stay late. I know if you put those kind of hours in and study, you’ll have a chance. Plus, I believe he’s a smart kid also — on reports by some people I know,” a grinning Crennel said, referring to Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. The two worked together as assistants with the New England Patriots.

“It’s unfortunate that it took this long to get done,” Browns GM Phil Savage said. “I feel like it’s a deal that we potentially could have done at the start of camp.”

Quinn, a four-year starter at Notre Dame, was projected as a top 10 pick in April’s draft. When he slipped deeper into the first round, the Browns traded a 2008 first-round pick to Dallas and selected the Ohio native and childhood Browns fan at No. 22.

During Quinn’s holdout, Crennel coldly referred to him as “the quarterback” and not by name. He continued to refer to him that way Tuesday.

“We’re going to put him at the bottom of the chart and see where he is,” Crennel said. “We’ll let him compete, but I’m not putting him on the first team tomorrow.”

The Browns have only two practices before their first preseason game Saturday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Maybe in the fourth quarter we might want to give him a snap,” Crennel said.

Rookie offensive tackle Joe Thomas said he’s looking forward to Quinn competing and pushing the other quarterbacks. He doubted Quinn’s holdout would be an issue with his teammates.

“I don’t think it’s something that guys will hold against him as long as he comes in here and works hard,” Thomas said.

The major sticking points in negotiations between the Browns and agent Tom Condon were escalator clauses based on playing time for Quinn, who has been working out in Arizona.

Condon proposed allowing Quinn to get a $5 million increase in the final two years of a potential five-year deal if he takes 55 percent of the snaps in any two of the first three years or 70 percent in any one of the first three. The Browns wanted to make the triggers tougher to reach.

Quinn was seeking $8 million in guaranteed money, roughly the same amount that the No. 20 pick, cornerback Aaron Ross, got from the New York Giants.

Savage expressed frustration with negotiations and talks intensified over the weekend. The two sides were only $500,000 apart in guaranteed money as of Monday. They basically split the difference in arriving at $7.75 million guaranteed.

Savage said Quinn’s intelligence and work ethic are two traits that the Browns liked about the quarterback. He said those traits will serve him well over the coming days.

“I don’t think he’ll be getting a lot of sleep over the next few weeks trying to catch up,” Savage said.

Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell (No. 1 overall) and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (No. 14) are the only first-round picks without contracts.

Notes

Guard Eric Steinbach, the team’s top free-agent acquisition, left practice after he fell on his right knee. He walked off the field with a trainer and did not return. “I would say he bruised it,” Crennel said. “That’s what I would say because we didn’t have pads on inside and we were on the turf and he came down on the knee.” The Browns signed Steinbach to a seven-year, $49.5 million contract in March.

Fantasy Football Impact:  Charlie Frye’s immediate value takes a big hit.  The sooner Quinn hits camp, the sooner Frye looses his starting job.  Frye is practically undraftable at this point.  Braylon Edwards also takes a big hit.  QB play will be terrible for the Browns this year and Edwards numbers will suffer, particularly in the early season.

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