The Browns have cut quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell today, the team announced.
The moves were not surprises.
“First and foremost, the Browns would like to thank Brandon and his agent for being true professionals,” Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. “The circumstances in which he found himself were not easy for him or the team. After discussions with Brandon and his agent, we’d like to give him the ability to pursue other opportunities.
“We appreciate Jason’s contributions to the Browns in 2013. He’s a respected veteran player in this league. We felt like at this time, early in the free-agency period, we would give him a better opportunity to move forward. We wish Jason the best in his future endeavors.”
The Browns drafted Weeden 22nd overall in 2012, but he never lived up to the expectations placed upon a first-round pick. He went 5-15 as a starter in his two seasons with the Browns.
Drafted by former President Mike Holmgren and ex-General Manager Tom Heckert, Weeden went 5-10 as a starter during his rookie season. Weeden, 30, played minor-league baseball before becoming a college football star at Oklahoma State University.
Weeden also entered the 2013 season as the starter but lost his job due to a sprained thumb he suffered in Week 2. He became the starter again after Brian Hoyer suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in October, but former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski benched Weeden in favor of Campbell because of poor performances in back-to-back starts in Weeks 6 and 7.
Weeden was scheduled to make base salaries of $1,124,872 next season and $1,492,308 in 2015.
Campbell, 32, was due a $250,000 roster bonus Thursday, according to ProFootballTalk.com. He was scheduled to make a base salary of $3 million next season.
Last year, Campbell signed a two-year deal with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent. He began the 2013 season as a backup, but injuries and poor performance thrust him into the starting lineup in Week 8. He went 1-7 as a starter, completing 180-of-317 passes (56.8 percent) for 2,015 yards and 11 touchdowns with eight interceptions and posting a passer rating of 76.9.
Hoyer, 28, led the Browns to back-to-back wins in September before getting hurt in his third start. He has progressed well while rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee and is expected to compete for the starting job this offseason.
The competition could come in the form of a rookie -- the Browns have two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 26 overall) in May's draft -- or a free agent.
Matt Schaub and Rex Grossman, two veterans who have played for new Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, have been linked to Cleveland for weeks.
Schaub, 32, isn’t a free agent yet, though the Houston Texans might part ways with him. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported the Texans will keep Schaub for a while. Still, he's scheduled to make $11 million next season.
If Schaub isn't in the cards for the Browns, they could turn to Grossman, 33. Grossman became an unrestricted free agent Tuesday, when his contract with the Washington Redskins expired.
The Browns have only two quarteracks on their roster now, Hoyer and Alex Tanney, 26. Tanney is a project who has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.