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Browns sign veteran quarterback

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Mar 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday signed quarterback Jason Campbell to a two-year contract, the club announced. Campbell previously was an unrestricted free agent from Chicago.

“Jason is an established leader who has started a number of games in this league and has had success,” said Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski. “He brings us a veteran presence and a good set of physical tools. He played in a similar system when he was in Oakland and that will help in his transition.”

“We are excited to have Jason as a member the Cleveland Browns,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “He is a veteran player who has been productive throughout his career and will be a good addition to our team.”

Campbell joins last year's No. 1 pick, Brandon Weeden, and former starter Colt McCoy as the legitimate contenders for the starting job this fall.

Originally drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round (25th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft, Campbell has started 71 of his 77 career games. He has completed 1,328 of 2,182 career passes (60.9%) for 14,682 yards with 76 touchdowns, 52 interceptions and an 82.5 passer rating. Campbell has a plus-24 touchdown-interception ratio, and his 2.4 career interception percentage is tied for eighth-best in the NFL since 2005.  In addition, he has totaled 1,096 rushing yards and six scores.

Campbell spent the first five years of his career (2005-09) with the Redskins, where he became one of four quarterbacks in franchise history to throw for 3,000 yards in back-to-back seasons (3,245 in 2008 and 3,618 in 2009). He became the franchise leader in career completion percentage (61.2) and his passer rating of 82.3 was second-best in Washington annals. He also established a team record with a streak of 271 consecutive passes without an interception, spanning from 2007-08, which was the fifth-longest streak ever in the NFL at the time.

Campbell was traded to Oakland prior to the 2010 season and spent two years with the Raiders. In those two seasons, he started 18 of his 19 contests and threw for 3,557 yards with 19 touchdowns. In 2011, he opened the first six contests and led Oakland to a 4-2 record before a broken collarbone ended his season. Campbell signed with the Chicago Bears as an unrestricted free agent in 2012 and appeared in six games with one start last season. He completed 32 of 51 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns.

Campbell started 40 games at Auburn University (2001-04), where he was named the SEC Player of the Year by the Associated Press and SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches after leading the Tigers to a 13-0 record in 2004. As a senior, he was named MVP of the 2004 SEC Championship game and the 2005 Sugar Bowl and finished seventh in the Heisman voting. That season, Campbell set a then-school record with 2,700 passing yards and a tied a then-school record with 20 touchdown passes. He ranks second in Auburn history in career passing yards (7,299), completions (552) and touchdowns (45) and helped lead Auburn to three SEC Western Division titles and one SEC Championship.

Born Dec. 31, 1981, the 6-5, 230-pound Campbell is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and attended Taylorsville High School. He was named the 1999 Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi.

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