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Browns GM Ray Farmer says free-agent QBs Vince Young, Tyler Thigpen to try out with team in minicamp

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 28, 2014

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Free-agent quarterbacks Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen will participate in the Browns’ voluntary veteran minicamp this week on a tryout basis, General Manager Ray Farmer said this morning during a pre-draft news conference.

The minicamp will run Tuesday through Thursday at the team’s headquarters in Berea.

Brian Hoyer is coming off the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in his right knee last October, and Alex Tanney has never played in a regular-season NFL game. They are the only two quarterbacks on the Browns’ roster, so it makes perfect sense for the team to bring in other passers for auditions during minicamp.

Young or Thigpen could earn a contract and be signed to provide depth. Of course, the Browns are also expected to add a quarterback in the draft, which will run May 8-10.

Young and Thigpen possess a trait new Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan values – mobility.

“I think it’s a piece of the puzzle,” Farmer said. “I wouldn’t say it’s the top piece. They both are mobile. They both are very good athletes. They both have had relative success -- I know Vince you would easily say probably more than Tyler. That’s a good piece. I think Kyle would tell you that he likes a quarterback that is mobile. The offense definitely is going to require the quarterback to do different things, play outside the pocket to some degree.”

Young, 30, hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011, when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent parts of the 2012 and 2013 offseasons with the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers, respectively.

Drafted third overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2006, Young has a career record of 31-19 as an NFL starter. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009.

“The interest in Vince is that he’s been productive,” Farmer said. “He’s had success in the National Football League. We wanted to take the opportunity to get a chance to see where he was. We had been kind of following him through the offseason and he had been doing some things that kind of caught our eye and made us kind of take note and wanted to see what that looked like in his own timeframe.”

Thigpen, 30, was out of the league last season. He spent the 2012 and 2011 seasons as a backup for the Bills. A seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2007, he also has played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. He has a career record of 1-11 as a starter.

Young and Thigpen were available last season when the Browns were forced to sign a quarterback because of injuries, but Farmer said they weren’t acquired then because they didn’t necessarily fit what the previous coaching staff wanted

“If a guy doesn’t fit with a potential coach or scheme that we were operating before, then those guys get passed over,” Farmer said. “Now that there may be an opportunity for a fit, you tend to be a little bit more aggressive or follow guys a little differently. Inevitably, you’ve got to find guys that fit what you do and then ask them to do those things.”

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