Browns release QBs, Weeden and Campbell

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm •  Published: March 12, 2014
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"We appreciate Jason's contributions to the Browns in 2013," Farmer said. "He's a respected veteran player in this league. We felt like at this time, early in the free-agency period, we would give him a better opportunity to move forward. We wish Jason the best in his future endeavors."

As for their future, the Browns are expected to draft a quarterback in May's draft. They own the No. 4 overall pick and it's possible Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Central Florida's Blake Bortles or Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater could be available when the Browns are on the clock. However, they may want to wait and take a quarterback later in the draft to groom behind Hoyer.

Soon after dumping Weeden and Campbell, the Browns welcomed Whitner, Dansby and Trufant, who beamed smiles as they posed for photos with new Browns coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer.

The Browns entered free agency $49 million under the salary cap, but bit off a chunk by giving Whitner a four-year, $28 million deal and Dansby one worth $24 million over four years.

It's a homecoming for Whitner, who grew up in Cleveland played at Ohio State.

"It's not often you can play high school, college and in the NFL in the same state," said Whitner, who spent the past three years in San Francisco and is excited for a chance to spend more time with two young children who live in Cleveland. "I know the history of this city; I know the history of this football team. I know it recently hasn't been good, but I know with a lot of hard work, a lot of good leadership and a lot of good football, physical football, we can change this thing around."

Farmer excused himself after introducing the players, saying "there's more work to be done."

The Browns were interested in signing lock-down cornerback Darrelle Revis, but after he reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with New England, Farmer may turn his focus to the offense in the coming days.

He signed Cincinnati slot receiver Andrew Hawkins to an offer sheet on Tuesday, and the Bengals have five days to match it or lose the speedy wideout.

Also, the Browns still don't know what will happen with Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. The team placed its transition tag on Mack last week, and now must wait to see if he's offered a contract by other teams.

The Browns also are reportedly interested in running back Ben Tate, who rushed for 771 yards and four touchdowns with Houston last season. Cleveland has been in the market for a feature back since trading Trent Richardson to Indianapolis.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org