BEREA: 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 Monday during a pre-draft news conference.
The minicamp will run today through Thursday.
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 time frame.”
Thigpen, 30, was out of the league last season. He spent the 2011 and 2012 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.”
Farmer revealed that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has participated in some pre-draft visits with prospects. Farmer said Haslam has been “very supportive” throughout the pre-draft process. “I’m confident and comfortable with his involvement in any meetings and anything we’re doing,” Farmer said. “He’ll ask 40 million questions, he’ll want to know, and that’s OK. He has a right to know. Even if he didn’t want to know, we’d still try to inform him. He’s been more than enjoyable to work with. He’s been definitely a positive for us.” … The Browns waived kicker Brandon Bogotay on Monday. Billy Cundiff is now the only kicker on the roster. … Farmer called the racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling “disappointing.” Added Farmer: “I’m happy I’m in a situation where we don’t have to be worried about those comments being made.” … Farmer said the Browns would conduct mock drafts to explore different scenarios they’ll encounter May 8.