On Tuesday morning, the Cleveland Browns waived quarterback Tyler Thigpen and signed 11-year veteran Rex Grossman. Grossman will reunite with Kyle Shanahan, who had been his offensive coordinator in each of the past five seasons with both the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. Grossman reportedly worked out for the Miami Dolphins on Monday along with Brady Quinn and John Skelton, but Miami decided to sign Quinn.
Early during the offseason, Grossman was projected to land in Cleveland as a free agent but was never signed. It has been widely thought that Grossman’s presence in the meeting room and on the field will be something of an extension of Shanahan. Grossman’s familiarity with the offense will only benefit fellow quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, as they are new to the offense.
During the Browns’ first preseason game, both Hoyer and Manziel showed an ability to move the offense downfield, but were unable to come up with any drives leading to a touchdown. Grossman shouldn’t be expected to compete for a starting spot in Cleveland, and will be used much like his role in Washington as he helped with the development of both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.
Cleveland also has undrafted rookie free agent Connor Shaw on the roster, who now may face a spot on the team’s practice squad.
Grossman has played in 54 total games during an up and down career, but led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006. In his career, Grossman has a QB rating of 71.4 and has thrown for 10,232 yards and 56 touchdowns, but the Browns aren’t signing him for his on-field play, more so the mental and planning aspect.
The Browns have shown that they aren’t afraid to make moves throughout the offseason and preseason in order to make the team better. While most teams are looking to get better with on-field personnel, the Browns are taking a different approach, attempting to improve their quarterbacks’ mental game by signing a veteran leader with knowledge of the offense.