Former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn ended his 11-day holdout with the Cleveland Browns yesterday, finally agreeing to a 5-year, $20.2 million contract, which includes $7.75 in guaranteed money. Quinn has the ability to raise the contract to a maximum of $30.0 million if he reaches certain incentives during the last two years of the deal. The former Heisman candidate (i.e. not winner) was adamant about a five-year deal instead of a six-year agreement, so that he can cash out earlier once his rookie contract expires.
Quinn admitted that the contract negotiations were difficult and that he wasn’t prepared for the type of pressure they induce. “It’s awful,” he said. “You grow up loving the game that you play and all of a sudden you’re told you can’t come in unless you sign a contract. There are so many things you don’t understand.” One would have hoped that Quinn’s agent Tom Condon would have explained the situation to his quarterback client, then again, maybe Quinn’s head is so full of “NFL-style” offensive schemes that he can’t fit anything more in.
He also ruffled some feathers this week when he agreed to an autograph session that charged fans $75 to get something signed from Quinn. With no NFL contract, clearly he had the time to appear, but did he really need the $75 per person? I can’t stand when athletes charge for appearances like these and it’s even worse when they aren’t even under contract yet!
Quinn comes into Browns camp as the #4 starter, but with Ken Dorsey, Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye in front of him, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him move right up the ladder and possibly start this year. Who knows, maybe he will be good. Unfortunately, we’ve seen nothing in his past that would make us think he will be the next Peyton Manning. He played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame, but he was only able to put up his gaudy stats against the likes of Army and Navy. One would think that the NFL defenses he sees are better than the ones he’s been playing against the past four years. His combined record of 2-6 against Michigan and USC doesn’t bode well for how he will play against NFL defenses.
For Cleveland’s sake, I hope Quinn turns out to be good, but as a fan of the NFL, a QB who holds out for as long as Quinn did (despite being the 22nd pick mind you!) better be prepared to step up, which is something Quinn hasn’t shown he is able to do.