Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is having a "last hurrah," as he calls it, by playing in his charity golf tournament on Monday in Oklahoma before heading to training camp this week.
"Golf allows me to free my mind and helps me relax," Weeden said. "A lot of guys love to fish and hunt, and this is my hobby. It's my escape before it's time to buckle down. And this event is so important."
Weeden and his wife, Melanie, have partnered with Children’s Hospital Foundation to hold the "Swing from the Heart" Golf Challenge at Oak Tree National in Edmond. They are especially looking at increasing the number of pediatric cardiology surgeons.
In a letter to charity donors, Weeden said: "Melanie and I first learned of this shortage through our personal relationship with one of Children’s miracles, and his parents. Five-year-old Gavin was born with the complex congenital heart disease Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Gavin’s condition has called for the most advanced surgical techniques and intricate care. However, due to the recruitment of Gavin’s surgeon away from Children’s in Oklahoma City to San Diego, the family has had to travel to California for his treatment. Gavin’s battle, his unbridled spirit, as well as his family’s enduring resolve, has inspired us to champion the challenge of building the medical team at The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City."
"He's my No. 1 fan and I'm the same for him," Weeden said. "He is a tough little kid who I have a lot of respect. Once I knew I was in a position to help, I did."
After the tournament, Weeden will head to Cleveland to start training camp with the Browns. He is expected to compete with Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy for the starting QB job. The Browns' rookies are slated to report on July 24, with the veterans joining them on July 26.
And Weeden would hope to have his contract resolved, too. He is scheduled to receive a four-year deal worth about $8.1 million under the NFL's new rookie wage slotting system. The 22nd overall pick in April's NFL draft out of Oklahoma State wants all four years guaranteed, something that doesn't always come in place with someone taken that late in the first round.
"What I'm asking for is not too much. I think it's fair," Weeden said. "If they see me in their plans as the starting quarterback, it doesn't make sense why they wouldn't do it."
And he and his wife are ready to build a life in Cleveland.
"This is an underrated town. My wife absolutely loves it, but then again, you might want to ask me that again in December!" Weeden said. "Nothing is ever really guaranteed, so I want to be smart about this. But when camp starts, I'll be there."