Cleveland unofficially moved on from the 2012 first round pick on Wednesday when head coach Rob Chudzinski announced that Jason Campbell, third on the team's depth chart at the position a month ago, would get the start this coming Sunday when the Browns are at the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The amount of times Weeden again takes the field this season, if at all, is irrelevant. He will not, barring a personal miracle, be the team's starting quarterback come next August.
Weeden becomes the most recent of 19 total quarterbacks to flop with the Browns since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999. Most of those individuals, such as Tim Couch, Jeff Garcia and Derek Anderson, are not remembered fondly by the Cleveland fan base. The same will be said about Weeden whenever his time with the Browns is reflected upon years down the road.
Weeden's Cleveland and NFL career got off to an inauspicious start. He was warming up for the 2012 home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles and didn't notice that a giant American flag was about take over the middle of the field. Little could anybody have imagined that this would the first of oh so many sacks in his Cleveland career.
And what of those sacks? What could have been explained away as mere rookie mistakes or scenarios created by an unimpressive offensive line quickly became the biggest weakness that prevented Weeden from being a franchise QB. Simply put, he holds onto the ball for too long. His release time was, earlier this month, one of the slowest in all of the NFL.
The one word I would go with to best describe the Weeden era in Cleveland is "looking." This stems from Browns radio announcer Jim Donovan using the word over and over to describe Weeden's indecisiveness while in the pocket. Example: "Weeden back to pass; looking, looking, looking...looking, he throws, and it's intercepted."
Assuming that Weeden has played his last ever down in a Browns jersey, he will leave the team having thrown more picks than touchdowns in his 20 games. Weeden thus far has 19 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions in his NFL career. His completion percentage this season is good for second-worst in the league.
It's all about results, and Weeden's lackluster stats would be at least slightly forgivable if the Browns had won with the former Oklahoma State star leading the offense. Unfortunately, it was the exact opposite. Weeden went 5-10 as a starter in 2012. Cleveland has lost all four games that has featured Weeden as starting QB this season.
Then there is the flip interception, one of the worst plays you'll ever witness from a professional quarterback. Weeden attempted the unthinkable in the fourth quarter of a winnable affair against the Detroit Lions, a mistake that cost Cleveland a chance to even things up late in the contest and also one that saw him lose the fan base for good. This past Sunday's Cleveland at Green Bay Packers contest merely confirmed what a majority of individuals who called into local sports talk radio during the previous midweek believed to be true:
Weeden just doesn't have the goods, at least not right now.
Last but certainly not least is that Weeden will go down as the final massive mistake of the Mike Holmgren regime, one that was supposed to change the fortunes of the franchise but instead set Cleveland several years in the wrong direction. There has been much speculation that Holmgren and his brain trust did not do enough homework before trading up in the '12 NFL Draft in order to take Weeden at 22 overall. That the 30-year old QB looks set to leave the team as a bust is one final fitting jab from a front office that was an abject failure in every way.
It will never be personal regarding Weeden for Browns fans. The guy was benched with an overall record of 5-14. That says it all. The search for a new long-term Cleveland QB begins this coming winter.
Thus continues the cycle.
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010
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