BEREA: Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has yet to sign his rookie contract, and he appears to be getting antsy about the situation.
The Browns have signed nine of their 11 picks from this year’s draft class. Weeden, the 22nd overall pick, and running back Trent Richardson, the third overall selection, are the exceptions.
So is there any update?
“What’s the politically correct answer here?” Weeden asked Friday as the AFC participated in the NFL Rookie Symposium PLAY 60 Youth Football Clinic at the Browns’ headquarters. “I wish it was done, but I don’t know. It’ll get done. We’re working. It takes two sides, though.”
On June 11, Weeden told the Beacon Journal he would sign before training camp begins in late July. When asked whether he’s still confident that will be the case, Weeden said, “I hope so.”
Richardson repeated that he’s waiting for the top two overall picks, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, to sign before completing his deal.
“For me, I think I’m really just waiting on one and two to get done,” Richardson said. “Then when the big guys get done, I can sign.”
Weeden and Richardson are two of 14 unsigned first-round picks from this year’s draft. None of the top-eight selections has signed.
Ever since Browns hall of fame running back Jim Brown called Richardson “ordinary” in an interview with ESPN Radio on draft day, Richardson has been swamped with questions about Brown’s comments.
Richardson continued to take the high road on Friday.
“I laugh at the situation,” he said. “For me, in my head, that means I got a lot of work to do, and I still do. … It’s just a lot of motivation. I don’t dislike Jim Brown for commenting. He’s just pushing me to the limit and making sure that I’m going to work and make sure that he gets everything he can out of me.”
Weeden has been impressed by the way Richardson has responded to Brown’s remarks.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone says with Trent,” Weeden said. “He’s got thick skin, which you have to have to play at this level, especially the positions that we play. Obviously, Jim Brown’s one of the best, probably the best running back to ever play here, and he’s got a right to say that. But Trent doesn’t worry about it. I can promise you that. All you’ve got to do is turn on the tape at Alabama and see what he did. He was a special player down there.”
Perhaps Richardson and Brown will be able to talk about everything face to face one day.
“I’d love to meet him,” Richardson said. “It will be an honor just to be in his presence. He is an icon. He is a legend.”
Luck, the No. 1 overall pick, said he thinks Weeden can “do great things” in the NFL.
“I think he’s incredibly accurate,” Luck said. “It’s fun watching him toss the ball. … It seems every time you’re like, ‘Oh, man. That’s where that throw needs to be.’ ... He’s got incredible arm strength, very sharp guy, obviously mature for how old he is.”
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon was Weeden’s top target at Oklahoma State University, so it’s not a surprise he’s a believer.
“I consider [Weeden] one of the best that came out,” Blackmon said. “I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. He can throw the ball from sideline to sideline and with lots of velocity and speed. He can put it there. He knows how to read the coverage and makes smart decisions. He loves to compete.”
Luck is familiar with Northeast Ohio because he visited the area while growing up. His dad, Oliver, graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, and he has a grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins who still live in the area. “I love Cleveland,” he said. “Great city.” … Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley attended the symposium this year. It was canceled when he was a rookie in 2011 because of the NFL lockout. Fairley, the 13th overall pick in last year’s draft, was arrested May 27 and faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and attempting to elude police.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com.