After two seasons with the Cleveland Browns where he recorded the lowest QBR of any player in the NFL, Brandon Weeden has now landed in familiar surroundings. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy is now the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys. Weeden has agreed to a two-year deal with the team worth $1.23 million. The Browns are actually paying him more not to play for them as they still owe Weeden $2.1 million from his rookie contract.
The 30-year old Weeden will join Tony Romo and Kyle Orton as the third quarterback on the Cowboys’ depth chart. His signing is seen as insurance in case Orton decides to retire sooner than later. Dallas’ current second-string quarterback, Orton, is expected to remain on the team this season as he’s scheduled to receive $3.25 million. But the 10-year veteran has hinted about retirement this offseason. If Orton does decide to call it quits, he’ll have to repay a whopping $3 million to the team that he received as part of his signing bonus.
As pointed out by ESPNDallas.com’ Todd Archer: “For all those worried, Weeden’s deal eats up about $75,000 in cap space off the $7.7 million the Cowboys had.” So signing him cost Dallas virtually nothing, in terms of the salary cap.
Weeden’s age restricts him from being considered as a possible Romo replacement. This move by the Cowboys is strictly to secure a back-up for the immediate future. Weeden had also spoken with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens before committing to Dallas.
Selected in the second round of the 2002 Major League Draft by the New York Yankees, Weeden spent fours years playing professional baseball in the minor leagues as a pitcher. Poor play and injuries forced him to quit and he soon enrolled at Oklahoma State. Weeden still holds six different school records from his play during his senior season at OSU in 2011. Despite his age, Weeden was still selected 22nd overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Browns.
While in Cleveland, Weeden amassed a total of 5,116 passing yards while completing 55.9% of his passes. He threw for 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in his short career. And he posted the fourth worst quarterback rating in the NFL in each of his first two seasons as a professional. But also consider that Weeden played under two different coaching regimes, was sacked 55 times and had very limited talent surrounding him as a member of the Browns. Regardless, Brandon will now get a chance at redemption playing with his “new” cowboys.