Mortensen's 2001 archive

Lions, Panthers angling for Browns backup QB Detmer

Aug. 27
Ty Detmer is the object of affection by the Cleveland Browns and the object of attention by the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers.

Ty Detmer
Ty Detmer is familiar with the Browns' West Coast offense.

The Panthers have joined the Lions as teams interested in acquiring Detmer from the Browns in proposed trade talks. Detmer has played extensively in the West Coast scheme employed by both teams that are looking to fortify their quarterback position.

The Browns want at least a fourth-round draft pick. The Lions have offered a conditional fifth-rounder that the Browns have rejected. The Panthers are contemplating their offer.

Detroit is not convinced veteran Jim Harbaugh is a capable backup to Charlie Batch, who has his own question marks as the starter under new coach Marty Mornhinweg.

Rookie Chris Weinke is the temporary starter in Carolina, although coach George Seifert has yet to commit to Weinke for the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at Minnesota. Jeff Lewis has blown the opportunity to be Carolina's starting quarterback and there is now uncertainty whether he will survive the final roster cuts.

Detmer is a 10-year veteran who is perhaps the most popular player within the Browns organization. He is a personal favorite of Cleveland owner Al Lerner, who has no problem paying Detmer $1.4 million as a second- or third-string quarterback behind starter Tim Couch.

Detmer is somewhat expendable because Kelly Holcomb was signed as a free agent and is familiar with new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' offense. Holcomb and Arians joined the Browns from Indianapolis. The Browns still like the potential of second-year QB Spergon Wynn.

Nevertheless, the Browns have reasons to keep Detmer. A Browns source said that the franchise has a desire to give first-year coach Butch Davis every available advantage to be competitive in 2001.

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