Delhomme signs with Browns

Staff writerMarch 13, 2010 

Strange as it may seem and sound, even though 10 days have passed since the Carolina Panthers broke ties with him, Jake Delhomme is now a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Delhomme, the Panthers’ starting quarterback from 2003 through the 11th game of last season, signed a two-year contract with the Browns Saturday.

Team president Mike Holmgren has told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Delhomme will have a chance to compete for the starting job.

Details of Delhomme’s contract were not known.

Delhomme and the Browns are scheduled to play the Panthers in Cleveland next season. The date and time of the game are set to be announced with the rest of the league schedule next month.

Delhomme had been scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints, but never made the trip to his original NFL team. The Saints offered only a chance to be the backup to Drew Brees, the Super Bowl MVP.

In Cleveland, Delhomme is expected to compete with Seneca Wallace, whom the Browns acquired recently in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, Holmgren’s former team.

Brady Quinn, a 2007 first-round pick, is also still on Cleveland’s roster, but Delhomme’s arrival may hasten his departure. There have been reports that the Browns were trying to trade Quinn, who has made it clear he’s open to being dealt if that’s what it takes to put him in position to vie for a starting job.

Cleveland also is expected to strongly consider picking a quarterback in next month’s NFL draft.

Delhomme, 35, led the Panthers to the only Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl history – something the Browns never have accomplished – and to two other playoff berths.

However, his final playoff game with Carolina turned out to be the beginning of the end of his tenure with the Panthers. After a six-turnover performance in a January 2008 home loss to Arizona, Delhomme went on to throw a career-worst 18 interceptions last season.

He missed the final five games of the season with a broken finger on his right (throwing) hand, during which time Matt Moore took over and led the Panthers to a 4-1 finish.

The Panthers informed Delhomme of their decision to release him on March 4 and declared the next day that Moore was their new starting quarterback.

cchandler@charlotteobserver.com or (704) 358-5123

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