Time for Weeden to live up to contract

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
4:05
PM ET
The Browns didn't buckle in guaranteeing a fourth year to first-round pick Brandon Weeden, and I can understand why given their quarterback history.

The last Browns quarterback to start more than eight games in four consecutive seasons was Bernie Kosar from 1985 to 1991. Cleveland reached a four-year, $8.1 million agreement with Weeden on Tuesday by guaranteeing more than $900,000 in 2015, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Weeden
Someone has to tell Weeden that there's never been any guarantees when it comes to the Browns and their quarterbacks since returning to the NFL in 1999. Not with Tim Couch. Not with Derek Anderson. Not with Brady Quinn. And not with Colt McCoy.

Now, it's up to Weeden to break this two-decade streak and establish himself as a franchise quarterback. This deal allows Weeden to report on time with the rest of the Browns rookies today. This allows him to take snaps in the first full-team practice Friday. This also allows him to seize the starting job immediately.

The Browns have rebuilt their offense in a matter of months, drafting Trent Richardson with the third overall pick, taking right tackle Mitchell Schwartz in the second round and selecting wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. But the key to turning around this offense quickly will be the play of Weeden, the 28-year-old quarterback who was drafted with the No. 22 pick.

While the Browns have yet to name Weeden as their starting quarterback, it's almost a given that he will beat out McCoy and start as a rookie. The bigger question is whether Weeden will establish himself for the long term.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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