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Cleveland Browns

Browns sign veteran quarterback Rex Grossman, waive Tyler Thigpen

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 12, 2014

The Browns found a new third-string quarterback and dumped another on Tuesday, signing Rex Grossman and waiving Tyler Thigpen.

The team announced the moves.

Grossman, 33, gives the Browns a veteran backup who's fluent in the system employed by new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Grossman spent the past five seasons with Shanahan -- one with the Houston Texans and the last four with the Washington Redskins.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Grossman could be valuable in the quarterback room because of his ability to assist Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel, both of whom are competing for the starting quarterback job, as they learn the intricacies of Shanahan's offense.

Grossman has appeared in 54 games and has a career record of 25-22 as a starter. But Grossman, who has 11 NFL seasons on his resume, hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since 2011.

Drafted 22nd overall by the Chicago Bears in 2003, Grossman has completed 863-of-1,562 career passes for 10,232 yards for 56 touchdowns with 60 interceptions. Before joining the Texans and Redskins, he spent his first six seasons (2003-08) with the Bears and led them to Super Bowl XLI during his first full season as a starter.

The Browns signed the 30-year-old Thigpen on May 1. He struggled throughout training camp. In the Browns' 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions Saturday night in the preseason opener, Thigpen completed 3-of-12 passes for 38 yards with an interception. He also posted a passer rating of 5.6.

With the subtraction of Thigpen and the addition of Grossman, the Browns have 89 players on their roster, including four quarterbacks.

Hoyer is listed first on the depth chart, followed by Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft. Grossman and undrafted rookie Connor Shaw round out the position.

The signing of Grossman shouldn't be overlooked because backup quarterbacks often find themselves starting in Cleveland. No Browns quarterback has started all 16 regular-season games since Tim Couch in 2001, and the team has started three quarterbacks in two of the past four seasons.


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