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Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Browns sign Grossman, cut Thigpen

By Pat McManamon

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns added a veteran backup Tuesday who knows Kyle Shanahan’s offense when they signed Rex Grossman.

 Tyler Thigpen, who never found his stride as he attempted to come back after a year out of the NFL, was released.

Grossman had been rumored as a Browns target for some time. But for whatever reason, the Browns gave tryouts to Vince Young and Thigpen in the offseason and then signed Thigpen. He didn’t last into the second game, and now they have Grossman, who was with Washington the past four seasons along with Shanahan.

Grossman, in his 12th season, quarterbacked the Bears to the Super Bowl in his career season, but has been mainly a backup since. He has played for Shanahan and his offense in five different seasons.

Grossman has 47 NFL starts and 25 wins. Brian Hoyer has four NFL starts, Johnny Manziel is a rookie.

Until Mike Pettine addresses the media after practice, the reason for Grossman’s presence won’t be known. More than likely he’ll serve as a veteran mentor to Hoyer and Manziel -- a role he filled in Washington for Robert Griffin III in his rookie season. He knows the offense and can teach it.

This move simply might be a reflection on Thigpen, who struggled from the get-go.

Or it could be a signal that the Browns are not thrilled with the way Hoyer and Manziel are working and learning the offense, and they want a veteran to help.

Manziel struggled in Monday’s practice, and Hoyer was a little better. While Hoyer is more decisive, Manziel admits he needs to improve on his reads and receiver progressions.

Clearly this will be a topic when Pettine meets the media.