BEREA, Ohio -- Brady Quinn didn't have to sweat out this
wait wearing a three-piece suit.
Even so, it was every bit as agonizing as draft day.
Hours after the quarterback ended his 11-day training camp
holdout by signing a five-year, $20.2 million contract with the
Cleveland Browns, Quinn said he understands that nothing -- not a
starting job or support from teammates or fans -- will be handed to
"Believe me, I don't deserve anything," he said Wednesday. "I
think I have to earn a lot with the coaching staff but also with
the team. But that's just something that you have to understand
coming into it, especially as a rookie.
"You have to earn everything that you get."
Quinn, though, is confident he'll be starting at some point
during his first season as a pro.
"Without a doubt," he said.
Quinn, who squirmed in his backstage seat at New York's Radio
City Music Hall for hours waiting to be drafted in April before
finally being picked by the Browns at No. 22, expressed frustration
at not being in camp while negotiations between the team and his
agent, Tom Condon, crawled along.
The sides first began talks in May, but didn't make any
significant progress until last weekend.
Quinn worked out in Arizona while the sides haggled over
guaranteed money and salary escalators in the final years of the
incentive-filled package. He can earn a maximum of $30 million if
he becomes the franchise QB the Browns have longed for.
Quinn's first foray into the NFL's business side wasn't a
pleasant experience for the 22-year-old.
"It's awful," he said. "You grow up loving the game that
you've played and all of a sudden you're told you can't come in
unless you sign a contract. To sit out from playing the game that
you love for that long is horrible.
"It's nice just to be an official member of the Browns."
Quinn missed the team's four-day rookie orientation program and
then 16 practices before finally getting a call from Condon, who
told him to pack his bags and get on the next flight to Cleveland.
When Condon called, Quinn was talking with Notre Dame coach
Charlie Weis, who offered his former star some advice.
"I told him what he had to do with the coaching staff and
management. I told him what he had to do with the players and I
told him what he had to do with the fans,'' Weis said. "He's a
very intelligent guy. I think in a very short amount of time no one
will be talking about he's late to camp.''
He arrived at the Browns' training facility Tuesday evening.
After signing his contract, Quinn met with fellow QBs Charlie Frye
and Derek Anderson, took a conditioning test, went over his
playbook and then checked into a hotel for a few hours sleep.
Quinn was back at Browns headquarters early Wednesday and was
scheduled to practice for the first time with his teammates in the
afternoon. It will be a private affair as the team's workout was
closed to fans and media members.
Quinn's first public appearance will be Thursday when every one
of his passes will be compared to ones thrown by Frye and Anderson,
neither of whom has separated from the other so far at camp.
A two-quarterback competition to be Cleveland's starter could
become the three-way fight everyone expected.
Barring an injury to Frye or Anderson, it's unlikely the Browns
will rush Quinn along. A more likely scenario would be for him to
sit out the first few weeks of the season before starting or
getting any significant snaps.
Quinn will begin at the bottom of the depth chart and will
probably only get in for a few plays in Saturday's exhibition
opener against Kansas City.
Arizona's Matt Leinart, also represented by Condon, missed most
of the Cardinals' training camp last summer. However, he still took
nearly 70 percent of the team's snaps and was starting by
Quinn said he got advice from Leinart about his upcoming
transition. He hasn't had to win a starting job since his freshman
year at Notre Dame, but Quinn's looking at his chance to compete
for one the same way he did as a wide-eyed 18-year-old with the
"I think a lot of times people get wrapped up in what other
people are doing and not what they're doing -- what they can improve
on," he said. "That's kind of the way that I handled myself back
then and that's the way that I'll handle myself now."
During his holdout, Quinn became an easy target for some Browns
fans, who felt he should have reported for camp on time like rookie
offensive tackle Joe Thomas, the No. 3 overall selection.
Quinn, too, was criticized for charging $75 for his autograph
during an appearance at a local memorabilia show.
Quinn, though, feels fans will be forgiving of his holdout, and
that the best way to win them over is by winning.
"I think they understand we're professional athletes," he
said. "We're very fortunate to have this opportunity. Don't get me
wrong, I'm from the Columbus area, I know about Cleveland, I'm an
Ohio kid, so I understand what this town's about.
"I want the same thing."
Weis has no doubt Browns fans will embrace Quinn.
"I think it won't take long before they're in love with Brady
Quinn," he said. "Because he's an easy guy to fall for."