EDMOND — Projected to be Cleveland's starting quarterback when the Browns open the season Sept. 9 against Pittsburgh, Brandon Weeden will arrive at training camp amid great expectations.
He also arrives without a signed contract.
Weeden reports Tuesday. Cleveland's first rookie workout is Wednesday. Veterans report on Friday. But before Weeden can throw another pass in practice, he must first sign a contract.
Since he was the 22nd overall pick out of Oklahoma State, Weeden has participated in 18 minicamp sessions and organized team activities (OTAs). Now that training camp has arrived, Weeden is prohibited from practicing with the Browns until he agrees to a deal.
“Hopefully we can agree to terms pretty quickly and I'm on the field playing football,” Weeden said Monday at his inaugural Swing from the Heart Golf Challenge at Oak Tree National. “We'll see how it turns out. There's not much time. There's going to be a lot of crunching these past couple of days.”
Under the new NFL slotting system, Weeden is set to receive a four-year $8.1 million deal. The sticking point is whether the fourth year is guaranteed.
The top 16 picks last year all received four seasons fully guaranteed. But most players in the lower end of the first round receive three years guaranteed and a partial guarantee the fourth year.
Weeden's agent, Sean Howard, who attended the charity golf event, said franchise caliber quarterbacks warrant the full four-year guarantee.
“I anticipate things will be done pretty quickly this week,” Howard said. “I intend to get it done. Brandon intends to get it done. We hope the Cleveland Browns intend to get it done. But it has to work for both parties.”
Every practice will be essential for Weeden. Offseason workouts in the Browns' West Coast offense have been invaluable.
“For me to go to training camp with an idea of what we're doing offensively is huge,” Weeden said. “I studied. I really worked at it. From the first day of rookie minicamp to the last OTA, I was leap years further along than I envisioned.”
Word in Cleveland is the Browns are committed to Weeden being their starting quarterback, although neither team president Mike Holmgren nor coach Pat Shurmur have made a proclamation.
“Nothing has been formally announced one way or another,” Weeden said. “They're going to make me go in and prove it. That's good. That's the way it should be. It's always good to have competition. But you want to name a guy as soon as possible to get experience with (the starting offense).”