Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Browns deal quarterback Frye to Seahawks for draft pick
ESPN.com news services
BEREA, Ohio -- Charlie Frye went from starter to starting
over, and Brady Quinn moved up a notch.
In two days, the Cleveland Browns' complicated, confusing and
crowded quarterback carousel took a dizzying spin.
Frye, benched before halftime in Sunday's season opener, was
traded to Seattle for a sixth-round draft pick on Tuesday, a
stunningly swift move that raises Quinn, the Browns' high-profile
rookie QB, to No. 2 on the depth chart.
With Frye no longer in the picture, the Browns will start Derek Anderson, who lost the quarterback competition to Frye during the
preseason, at home on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Quinn, the heir apparent, will be Anderson's backup.
"This move obviously clarifies our quarterback situation,"
general manager Phil Savage said with a straight face.
"Some people think we're doing some kind of experiment, but
we're not. We're trying to win and unfortunately things got
derailed Sunday before it even got started."
Cleveland's trade of Frye is unprecedented. According to the
Elias Sports Bureau, he's the first quarterback since the NFL/AFL
merger in 1970 to start his team's season opener and be traded
before Week 2.
Green: Seahawks' Gain
Charlie Frye's failure in Cleveland had more to do with the Browns, than with the quarterback's talent and Frye will be better off in Seattle, Jeremy Green writes. Blog
The last NFL player to start in Week 1 and then be traded before Week 2 was Raiders tackle Jim Lachey, who was traded to the Redskins along with four draft picks in 1988 for quarterback Jay Schrader and two draft picks.
The Browns, embarrassed 34-7 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their
home opener, will go into Week 2 with three quarterbacks; only one
of them, third-stringer Ken Dorsey, has won an NFL game.
The club signed Dorsey to a one-year contract on Tuesday, 10
days after the Browns cut him. Dorsey will serve as a mentor to
Quinn, who might have been the Browns' opening-week starter if he
hadn't missed 11 days of training camp in a holdout.
Savage said starting Quinn has been discussed, and that the
former Notre Dame star could soon be under center.
"I think there is a feeling that he's certainly closer to being
ready to play," Savage said. "We want to be able to give him a
full gamut of plays and give him a chance to have some success. I
don't know if that happens in two weeks, four weeks, six weeks.
"The important thing in the big picture is that we develop
Brady Quinn in the right way. That is the most important thing that
we have to do this year and that's what we're trying to do this
year. And, win."
Frye was dealt less than 48 hours after playing horribly and
being pulled in the second quarter by coach Romeo Crennel. A former
third-round pick who grew up rooting for the Browns in Willard,
Ohio, Frye beat out Anderson during a drawn-out competition that
began during the offseason and carried through the preseason.
Less than two weeks ago, Savage said, "Let's see what Charlie
can do with a full deck" this season.
It took less than 20 minutes on Sunday for the club to decide
Frye was no longer in its future plans.
He went 4-of-10 for 34 yards with an interception -- a QB rating
of 10.0 -- and was sacked five times before Crennel yanked him.
Savage was most troubled by Frye's inability to get rid of the
"Sunday, we needed to see more production," Savage said, "and
probably the most revealing thing of everything that happened
Sunday was that in his 10 attempts [actually 15], he took five
sacks and in Derek's 28 attempts [actually 29] he took one sack."
Savage praised Frye for the way he handled two-plus turbulent
seasons with the Browns, who are just 40-89 since 1999.
"He came into a very tough situation," Savage said.
Frye fills a pressing need for Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who
had been looking for a backup for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
Seneca Wallace filled that role in Sunday's opener against Tampa
Bay, but Seattle would like to use him as a wide receiver and punt
returner as well as a backup QB.
Frye is excited about a chance to resurrect his career.
"I am now looking forward to a fresh start and a new set of
challenges," said Frye, who went 6-13 as Cleveland's starter. "I
know the best of my career is still ahead of me."
Quinn was Cleveland's No. 3 quarterback against the Steelers,
but he's already No. 1 in the minds of Browns fans, who began
chanting "Bra-dy," following another bad throw by Frye in the
second quarter Sunday.
Savage insisted that dealing Frye and shuffling the quarterback
deck was not a knee-jerk reaction.
"We really haven't changed our plans. We've adjusted," he
said. "We had two tracks. One track had Charlie and Derek over
here, and one track had Brady over here. We've still got one
quarterback on that track.
"We've got a guy [Anderson] who has started some games, whose
got a big arm and who has shown some potential. We've got a future
franchise quarterback [Quinn]. We've got the veteran mentor
[Dorsey] and we've got a sixth-round pick for another guy. I think
we've maximized what we had on board here at that position."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.