The Cleveland Browns have seen enough of quarterback Brandon Weeden. After yet another poor performance in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Browns are turning to veteran journeyman Jason Campbell. He will be starting in Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For Campbell, this is one more chance to make it as a starter in the NFL. He has become famous for bouncing around the league, never quite getting a real opportunity. SB Nation's Jon Bois looked at Campbell's unique career arc after he was passed over for Brian Hoyer earlier this season. The Browns went with Hoyer over Campbell even though Campbell was the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. When Hoyer tore his ACL, Cleveland turned back to Weeden, seemingly solidifying his position as the forgotten man.
That all changed this week. Weeden had probably the worst game of his career in Week 7, completing just 17-of-42 passes for 149 yards, a miserable 3.5 yards per attempt. Despite being in his second NFL season, Weeden is just one year younger than Campbell. It was an ill-advised draft pick from the start that has looked even worse as time went on. The Browns got a new general manager and head coach who had no ties to Weeden, and they are looking to start over at quarterback, getting an extra first-round pick from the Colts after trading Trent Richardson.
For now, though, they are handing the reins to Campbell. What does he bring to the table? Not much, if we're being honest. He made his bones as a competent game manager in his eight-year NFL career, but hasn't done much to prove he has a higher ceiling than that. Campbell's best stretch came during a two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, but that ended when he broke his collarbone in 2011. He landed with the Chicago Bears in 2012 and flopped in one game after Jay Cutler went down with a concussion. The Browns are his third team in four years.
The upcoming matchup doesn't do him any favors. The Chiefs may have the best defense in football and eat quarterbacks for lunch. They have allowed the fewest points in the league so far and have an absurd 35 sacks in just seven games. It's not a friendly environment for any quarterback to step into.
Jason Campbell might not be the long-term answer for the Browns, and it's questionable that he'll even be a short-term answer. But with the team at 3-4, clinging to small playoff hopes, and sporting a strong defense with talented offensive playmakers like Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, just semi-competent play at quarterback might be all they need to make a run in the surprisingly weak AFC North. With a player like Campbell, who is the dictionary definition of "semi-competent", that might just be enough for the 2013 Browns.
It might not happen against the Chiefs this week, but Campbell does give the Browns a chance at staying competitive. That could be all fans will ask for as they scout quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft.