CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns starting quarterback Charlie Frye, benched before halftime in the season opener, was traded to Seattle for an undisclosed draft pick on Tuesday, a stunningly swift move as Cleveland clears the way for rookie Brady Quinn.
The teams have an agreement in place, said a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not finalized.
Frye was dealt less than 48 hours after playing poorly and being pulled in the second quarter by coach Romeo Crennel for backup Derek Anderson in the Browns’ 34-7 loss to the 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.
The Browns also are expected to sign quarterback Ken Dorsey, cut 10 days ago by the club, to a one-year contract.
Less than two weeks ago, Browns general manager Phil 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. Frye’s departure could push Quinn, the former Notre Dame four-year star, up the depth chart.
The Browns want to bring their high-profile first-round pick along slowly, but their timetable may have been sped up following their eighth straight loss to the Steelers, dropping Crennel’s record against AFC North teams to 1-12.
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.
Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren had been looking for a backup for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Seneca Wallace filled that role in Sunday’s opener against Tampa Bay, but Seattle would rather use him as a wide receiver and punt returner.
When he was still with the Browns, Dorsey served as a mentor for Quinn, who missed 16 practices during a contract holdout and was absent when the Browns installed sections of their offense under new coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
Dorsey, who played under Chudzinski at the University of Miami, could start Sunday at home against the Cincinnati Bengals or serve as a backup if the Browns want to take another look at Anderson — or start Quinn.