Contract could be worth up to $30 million with incentives
After agreeing to terms, Quinn flew in from Arizona, where he had been working out, and signed his first pro contract shortly after arriving at the Browns' training facility.
Before joining his teammates on Wednesday for a practice closed to fans and media, Quinn said the business-side of football was a difficult lesson to learn.
"It's awful," he said. "You grow up loving the game that you play and all of a sudden you're told you can't come in unless you sign a contract. There are so many things you don't understand."
Having missed the first 10 days of training camp, Quinn, 22, faces a considerable catch-up period at a position where the learning curve is already difficult. Although he performed in a sophisticated offense at Notre Dame, and under the tutelage of coach Charlie Weis, who is famous for developing quarterbacks, Quinn struggled in the spring workouts and minicamps.
Quinn likely has lost his chance to open the season as the Browns' starter but, given the continuing uncertainty at the position, could still challenge for playing time as the year progresses, particularly if the Cleveland offense sputters. Given the steep price the Browns paid to acquire Quinn, surrendering their first-round choice in the 2008 draft, he must be viewed as the franchise's long-term quarterback hope.
Unsigned First-Round Picks
Front offices and fans alike of the Raiders and Jets are going to have to sit tight. These two rookies -- including JaMarcus Russell (right) -- are far enough apart in contract talks that they won't be seen in camp anytime soon.
|1.||Raiders||JaMarcus Russell, QB|
|14.||Jets||Darrelle Revis, CB|
"It's unfortunate that it took this long to get done," Browns general manager Phil Savage said. "I feel like it's a deal that we potentially could have done at the start of camp."The major sticking point in negotiations between the Browns and agent Tom Condon were escalator clauses based on playing time for Quinn. Condon and the Browns were also hung up over increases in the fourth and fifth years of a potential deal. Savage expressed frustration with negotiations and talks intensified over the weekend. The two sides were only $500,000 apart in guaranteed money as of Monday. They basically split the difference in arriving at $7.75 million guaranteed.
Savage said Quinn's intelligence and work ethic are two traits that the Browns liked about the quarterback. He said those traits will serve him well over the coming days.
"I don't think he'll be getting a lot of sleep over the next few weeks trying to catch up," Savage said.
Coach Romeo Crennel has coldly referred to Quinn as "the quarterback" and not by name during the holdout."He's pretty far behind," Crennel said last week. "We have a lot of offense, and we're putting it in every day. It takes a while to get this down and get caught up on it."
The Browns have only two practices before their first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday in Cleveland.
"We're going to put him at the bottom of the chart and see where he is," Crennel said. "We'll let him compete, but I'm not putting him on the first team tomorrow."
Quinn also missed the team's four-day rookie orientation before camp. He's got a lot of ground to make up, and he knows he'll need to do it quickly.
"I don't deserve anything," he said. "I've got to earn a lot, not only with the coaching staff but with the team. That's something you understand as a rookie, you have to earn everything you get."
The Browns picked Quinn with the No. 22 overall pick in April's draft after trading a 2007 second-round pick and their first-round pick in 2008 to the Dallas Cowboys.
He's fourth on the depth chart behind Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey. However, with Frye and Anderson having mediocre camps, Quinn soon could be challenging for the starting job.
Quinn said one of his goals is to start as a rookie.
"Without a doubt," he said.
Third-year veterans Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson continue to vie for the No. 1 job this season. Frye was nominally listed as the starter when Crennel released his first depth chart on Monday, but the Browns' head coach cautioned against reading too much into that.
Condon proposed to allow Quinn to get a $5 million increase in the final two years of a potential five-year deal if he takes 55 percent of the snaps in any two of the first three years or 70 percent in any one of the first three. The Browns wanted to make the triggers tougher to reach.
Quinn was seeking $8 million in guaranteed money, roughly the same amount that the No. 20 pick, cornerback Aaron Ross, got from the New York Giants.
Quinn's signing leaves two first-round picks -- Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the top overall selection, and cornerback Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, the No. 14 choice -- without contracts.
The 22nd overall choice in the draft, Quinn departed Notre Dame with 36 school passing and total offense records. He started 46 games and his 29 victories tied a Fighting Irish record. Quinn completed 929 of 1,602 passes for 11,762 yards, with 95 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions.
Although he possesses excellent size (6-foot-3, 232 pounds) and pocket stature, Quinn is a better athlete than most people think, and has good running ability. He was timed at the combine workouts at 4.73 seconds in the 40.
Uncertainty at quarterback is nothing new for the Browns, who have employed five different opening-day starters in the last five years. And through three dozen practices in the spring and now in the first 10 days of training camp, neither Frye nor Anderson has separated himself enough yet to have been vested with the No. 1 job.ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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The countdown is on toward the start of the 2007 season; rosters were trimmed to 75 by Tuesday and reached 53 by Saturday. The regular season starts Sept. 6 when the Saints visit Indianapolis to face the Super Bowl champion Colts. Camp index
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• Clayton: Big cutdown day on Saturday
• Redskins re-sign Cooley
• Priest Holmes comeback on hold
• Bengals acquire QB Fitzpatrick from Rams
• Seahawks lose DT Tubbs for season
• DT Simon agrees to deal with Titans
• Pats' Samuel signs one-year franchise tender
• Giants, Strahan have constructive talks
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• Roundup: Two-time Olympic skier Bloom cut by Eagles
• Roundup: Steelers' Ward has nose surgery