Will the Browns trade Quinn before the deadline?

There is growing speculation out of Cleveland that the Browns will deal quarterback Brady Quinn before the October 20 trade deadline. Quinn won the Browns’ starting quarterback job in preseason but struggled mightily once the regular season started and was replaced by Derek Anderson.

Considering the Browns traded Kellen Winslow to the Buccaneers this offseason and Braylon Edwards to the Jets last week, it’s clear that the team has no reservations about dealing former first round picks. So the rumor of Quinn being shipped out of town certainly holds water.

Despite his brutal 2-for-17 passing performance against the Bills last Sunday, Anderson has shown that he can move the offense better than Quinn can. Anderson is turnover prone, but he has the strong arm that head coach Eric Mangini covets. Quinn, on the other hand, displayed poor pocket awareness and the inability to hit receivers in stride during the first few weeks of the season.

But while a trade makes sense for the Browns (Mangini reportedly favors former Jet Brett Ratliff as his backup, making Quinn even more expendable), they just don’t happen that often midseason. I realize Cleveland just dealt Edwards to New York last week, but his recent off-field incident and growing tension with management expedited that process.

Plus, Edwards is a receiver – Quinn is a quarterback. Teams can’t just trade for a quarterback two days before a game and start him. He has to learn the playbook, get acclimated to his receivers and have at least a week or two of practice under his belt before he’s ready to play. Most teams that need a quarterback are watching their seasons sink into the abyss, so would it be worth it for them to make a trade?

This is just speculation on my part, but one team that could pull the trigger is the Carolina Panthers. Jake Delhomme is aging and at times, has been a total disaster. Carolina’s refusal to develop a young quarterback behind Delhomme will cost them dearly at some point (if it isn’t already) and maybe the Panthers would take a shot on a youngster like Quinn who needs a lot of polishing. Delhomme could remain the starter while Quinn learns the offense and then if Jake continues to struggle, Brady could eventually take over.

We’ll see how this plays out. It’ll be interesting to see if these rumors pick up as the deadline approaches.

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