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Which free-agent quarterback will Browns sign? Derek Anderson speculation won’t die

By Nate Ulrich Published: March 12, 2013

The Browns are expected to pursue a quarterback in free agency as they search for someone to compete with incumbent starter Brandon Weeden.

The market officially opens for business at 4 p.m. today.

In January, a rumor surfaced about former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson possibly returning to Cleveland via free agency. This morning, Adam Caplan of tweeted he heard the same thing last month at the NFL Scouting Combine and that the rumblings have continued.

Anderson had his best NFL season and went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, when new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was the offensive coordinator during a previous tour in Cleveland. Chudzinski spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, and Anderson served as their backup quarterback.

Anderson used Facebook in January to flirt with the possibility of returning to the Browns. His departure from Cleveland was ugly.

After the Browns released Anderson on March 9, 2010, he ripped Browns fans in an e-mail to the News-Herald.

“The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner,” Anderson wrote then. “I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured.

“I know at times I wasn't great. I hope and pray I'm playing when my team comes to town and [we] roll them.”

Anderson, 29, isn’t the only potential quarterback target for the Browns in free agency, but there aren’t many others.

Matt Moore re-signed with the Miami Dolphins last week, and restricted free-agent Brian Hoyer recently received a second-round tender offer from the Arizona Cardinals. The Browns don’t have a second-round pick this year because they forfeited it by selecting wide receiver Josh Gordon last summer in the supplemental draft. In other words, they’re out of the mix for Hoyer.

Caplan has tied New Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel, 26, to the Browns for months. However, he tweeted today that “Daniel has interest from at least six teams, but not hearing Browns are in on him as of now.”

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports speculated today that the Browns could be interested in Kevin Kolb, 28, if the Cardinals let him go. He also mentioned the Browns and New York Jets as an option for Jason Campbell, 31, if he doesn’t re-sign with the Chicago Bears.

Of course, a trade cannot be entirely ruled out, either. The Browns have been linked to New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, 24, since December.

Last month at the combine, Browns CEO Joe Banner said the organization wants to give Weeden, 29, the best chance to succeed. But Banner, Chudzinski and owner Jimmy Haslam have also made it clear Weeden won't be handed the starting job.


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