Weeden's grip on QB job grows stronger

March, 19, 2013
3/19/13
7:00
PM ET
When Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam declared last month there would be a quarterback competition, the team was linked to every available quarterback.

Would the Browns bring in Alex Smith? Michael Vick? Matt Moore? How about Matt Hasselbeck? All of those options are now gone, and it doesn't sound like the Browns are actively seeking another quarterback.

Instead of bringing in competition, Browns coach Rob Chudzinksi characterized it as "creating competition."

"That can be from a number of different places that you create competition," Chudzinski said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "We have some guys that are there and again we’re going to coach them all and we’re going to coach them all hard and we’re going to give all of them opportunities to show what they can do. So, I think there will be competition from within the room."

If the competition is between Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy and Thad Lewis, there really is no competition. Despite his up-and-down rookie season, Weeden is the overwhelming favorite among this group.

Chudzinski didn't rule out adding another quarterback, although it doesn't seem like a strong likelihood. At this point, you can't blame the Browns for passing on the remaining available quarterbacks: Kevin Kolb, Jason Campbell, Tyler Thigpen, Brady Quinn, Byron Leftwich and Matt Leinart. The Browns are also not expected to draft a quarterback in the first round (and they don't have a pick in the second round).

Chudzinski declined to set a target date on when to name a starting quarterback and he sidestepped a question about whether he will enter the preseason with a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback.

With each passing day in free agency, it appears that this is Weeden's job to lose. And, if Weeden can't win it, Chudzinski is going to have a major problem on offense.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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