The Dallas Cowboys added some quarterback depth on Monday, agreeing to a two-year deal with Brandon Weeden, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the deal is for the veteran minimum, a quick fall from grace for Weeden after being selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The 30-year-old Weeden heads to Dallas following a two-year stint in Cleveland. He stepped into the starting role as a rookie, but struggled. Things got worse in his second year as injury and ineffectiveness eventually landed him on the bench. Weeden completed 55.9 percent of his passes for Cleveland, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt. His yard per attempt average is the second-lowest since 2012 among quarterbacks with at least 500 pass attempts.
With multiple regime changes in Cleveland since he was drafted, both in the front office and coaching staffs, there was very little support left for Weeden. With him unlikely to compete for a starting role, the Browns opted to release him despite years and guaranteed money remaining on his rookie deal. Now in Dallas, he'll have an opportunity to revive his career as a backup, if he can make a roster. With a minimum contract, Weeden is far from a lock to make the final 53-man roster. He'll have competition for a roster spot, possibly including Kyle Orton. Orton is slated to make $4 million as Tony Romo's backup next season, however, Orton was reportedly contemplating retirement earlier this offseason. That could open a door for Weeden to win the backup job.
At 30, Weeden doesn't have time on his side, but could be in line for another shot to start. If he's able to develop in Dallas, he would hit the market at 32 and possibly land a chance to compete for a starting job. That is a long way down the road, however, and he'll first need to make the roster. For now, Weeden is just one of the many failed Browns selected during the Mike Holmgren era in Cleveland.
Holmgren's drafting got off to a good start with Joe Haden and T.J. Ward his first two picks as Browns team president. Things went down hill from there with early picks like Montario Hardesty, Greg Little, Trent Richardson and Weeden failing to perform. Cleveland drafted Richardson and Weeden in the first round in 2012 and less than two years later both are on other rosters.