Browns trade Frye after awful Sunday start

By Tom Withers The Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio – Browns starting quarterback Charlie Frye, benched before halftime in the season opener, was traded to Seattle for a sixth-round draft pick yesterday, a stunningly swift move that pushes rookie Brady Quinn to No. 2 on the depth chart.

Frye’s departure means Derek Anderson, who lost the quarterback competition to Frye during the preseason, will start for the Browns on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and Quinn will be his backup.

“This move obviously clarifies our quarterback situation,” general manager Phil Savage in explaining the deal.

The Browns said Frye must pass a physical for the trade to be completed. Cleveland also signed veteran free agent quarterback Ken Dorsey, cut 10 days ago by the club, to a one-year contract.

Dorsey will be Cleveland’s third-string quarterback and serve as a mentor to Quinn, the franchise’s future QB whom they selected in the first round of April’s draft.

Frye was dealt less than 48 hours after playing poorly and being pulled in the second quarter by coach Romeo Crennel for Anderson in the Browns’ 34-7 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Frye, who made 13 starts last season and five as a rookie in 2005, beat out Anderson during a drawn-out competition that began during the offseason and carried through training camp and the preseason.

Less than two weeks ago, Savage said “let’s see what Charlie can do with a full deck” this season.

It took less than 20 minutes on Sunday for the club to decide Frye was no longer in their plans.

He went 4-of-10 for 34 yards with an interception – a QB rating of 10.0 – and was sacked five times by the Steelers before Crennel yanked him.

The trade speeds up the timetable for Quinn, the No. 3 quarterback Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat Cleveland for the eighth straight game and dropped Crennel’s record against AFC North teams to 1-12.

“By making Brady the backup, it obviously ramps up his preparation in terms of the number of reps and keeping him on course with an opportunity to play at some point during this year,” Savage said.

Quinn was Cleveland’s No. 3 quarterback against the Steelers, but he’s already No. 1 in the minds of Browns fans, who began chanting “Bra-dy,” “Bra-dy” following another bad throw by Frye in the second quarter Sunday.

Cleveland traded a 2008 first-round pick to Dallas in April’s draft and used the No. 22 overall pick on Quinn, who set 36 passing records for the Fighting Irish.