One day after the signing of QB Jake Delhomme, the Cleveland Browns have traded Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos, per Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. The Browns will get two conditional draft picks and RB Peyton Hillis in return.
The move will strike hard among Quinn's supporters in Cleveland, many of whom have followed the quarterback's career since he played for Dublin High School outside of Columbus. Recuited by Ty WIllingham to Notre Dame, Quinn had the good fortune to spend some time with Patriots QB guru Charlie Weis after he took over as head coach of the Fighting Irish. While at Notre Dame, Quinn re-wrote the school's record book, setting marks for most touchdown passes and lowest interception percentage.
It has been largely downhill ever since the Fighting Irish were predicted to be among the top college teams in 2006. While Quinn finished his senior year with excellent numbers once again, the squad disappointed, with a crushing Sugar Bowl loss to LSU marking Quinn's final college game.
Predicted to be among the top picks in the 2007 college draft, Quinn was instead passed over by a number of teams, most prominently the Miami Dolphins, to fall to the lower regions of the first round. A quick trade between the Browns and Cowboys allowed Cleveland to snag Quinn with the 22nd pick in the draft, hailed then as a savvy move by then-GM Phil Savage.
Quinn's situation didn't improve much as a rookie with the Browns. After a protracted hold-out, Quinn had little chance to take over for Charlie Frye when he faltered as the Browns starter. Derek Anderson stunned NFL watchers by emerging as a Pro Bowl quarterback, at least for that season, stopping Quinn from appearing until the Browns final game of the season.
Moving in as the back-up to Anderson in 2008, Quinn took over after the Browns sank to 3-5, performing fairly well, but breaking a finger against the Buffalo Bills, which eventually sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Moving up to the starting job in 2009, Quinn struggled the first three games of the season until he was replaced by Derek Anderson at halftime against the Baltimore Ravens. Returning as starter later in the season, Quinn managed to have his best game as a pro against the Detroit Lions in week eleven, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Quinn didn't equal those numbers before going on the injured reserve (foot) late in the season.
Unable to prove himself in three years with the Browns, Quinn will get a chance elsewhere, as he goes to off to play for another ex-Patriots QB guru, Josh McDaniels. In return, the Browns get promising RB Peyton Hillis and some future draft picks. It's a far distance from the first-round and second-round pick the Browns gave up to acquire Quinn in 2007.
And so the expansion-era Browns quarterback search enters year number eleven…