The Cleveland Browns are cleaning house once the 2012 season comes to a close on Sunday. With new owner Jimmy Haslam in place, there’s a good chance that the General Manager, Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator could all get the ax as the team looks to start fresh.
If Tom Heckert, Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress are all sent packing at season’s end, could the Browns’ lackluster rookie quarterback suffer from the same fate? As crazy as it may seem, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
The 29-year-old Brandon Weeden hasn’t done much to impress throughout his 2012 rookie season. Despite the hype that he’d lift the Browns to relevance and give them a shot at the AFC North crown, the offense has been one-dimensional throughout the year. When the running game wasn’t going, Weeden was incapable of creating a spark through the air. He managed a positive touchdown-to-interception ratio in only four of his 15 starts, which is a large part of why the Browns are 5-10 heading into the final week of the season.
Seeing as Weeden will sit out Cleveland’s season finale with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he will finish the year with 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His quarterback rating of 72.6 was the worst among qualified rookie quarterbacks, although many of his struggles can be attributed to a lack of reliable targets to throw to.
Weeden was expected to be the face of this franchise until the 2012 campaign came crumbling down on top of the Browns. With Mike Holmgren now out of the picture and Haslam having his own vision for the future of the team, Cleveland could opt to go in a different direction only a year after spending a first-round pick on the not-so-young rookie passer.
Although many quarterbacks struggle when thrown to the wolves in their first year, Weeden’s inconsistency and turnover tendencies could force the new Cleveland regime to look elsewhere in 2013. Whether it’s towards the 2013 NFL Draft, free agency or maybe even another current Browns quarterback, the team could definitely look at other options this upcoming offseason.
If Weeden is already 29, they might as well cut their losses and start grooming a younger quarterback whose NFL career can last longer than a few years.