Can the Cleveland Browns pay a projected third-string quarterback a reported $5.4 million this season?
That probably says all you need to know about Jake Delhomme's shaky future in Cleveland.
The Browns like Delhomme's veteran presence and leadership. But the past two years -- including the 2010 season in Cleveland -- proved Delhomme, 36, is no longer a starting NFL quarterback. The Browns paid Delhomme $7 million last season to throw for 872 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games. Comparing dollars and production, it was one of the worst investments last year in free agency.
After signing a two-year deal last offseason, Delhomme is now one of the AFC North's prime candidates to be released whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. Delhomme said immediately after the season that he wasn't sure he will be back, and Cleveland's front office has been elusive on the topic.
The Browns are going all-in with second-year quarterback Colt McCoy this season and recently signed backup Seneca Wallace to a three-year extension. The Browns did not select a developmental quarterback in the NFL draft this year. That leaves a roster spot open for Delhomme, but only if he's willing to take a very significant pay cut to stay in Cleveland.