December 19, 2014

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Escalator clauses could be issue in Quinn holdout

BEREA — Quarterback Brady Quinn has missed four practices and will likely miss two more today, but general manager Phil Savage said he hasn’t reached the point of frustration with the team’s last holdout.
“Not really,” he said Sunday. “I’m glad we’ve got the other guys out there. If anything, it’s given Charlie (Frye) and Derek (Anderson) the chance to get more reps, and that’s a positive.”
Savage said there was nothing to report in the Quinn negotiations.
“We’re in the same neighborhood, but not on the same street,” he said.
Quinn was projected as a top-10 pick in the draft. He fell to No. 22, where the Browns took him after giving Dallas two draft picks, including a first-rounder in 2008.
Quinn’s agent, Tom Condon, hasn’t returned messages, but the sticking point could be in the escalator clauses that would allow Quinn to earn millions more if he quickly becomes the starter and succeeds.
Savage said all of Condon’s other clients have signed, including the final two over the weekend.
“We’ll see if that increases the focus on this deal,” Savage said.
Today’s the day
Just nine months after tearing both patellar tendons defending a pass vs. the Denver Broncos on Oct. 22, cornerback Gary Baxter will return to the practice field.
Savage said Baxter has passed the team physical and will practice today. He will be limited to mostly individual work at the beginning and hopefully work his way up to group and team drills.
“It’s an unbelievable recovery,” Savage said. “In his heart, he feels like he’s going to play this year.”
No one has ever played again after tearing both patellar tendons.
Tough critic
Second-year receiver Travis Wilson got behind rookie cornerback Eric Wright on the right sideline and was wide open, but the throw from Frye went through his arms. Wilson, who has struggled to hang onto the ball early in camp, was visibly upset as he headed back to the huddle.
“It’s accountability. When you get the chance to make a play, whether it’s a hard one or easy one, to me when the ball’s your way you’ve got to catch it,” he said. “I’m going to get mad at myself, because I felt I let my teammates down and coaches, so that’s why I demand excellence, 100 percent out of me all the time. That’s why I’m so critical of myself.”
Wilson is competing for the third receiver spot.
Extra points
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen attended practice. King listed the Browns 32nd in his preseason rankings.
– Backup running back Jerome Harrison was knocked on his backside during a pass-blocking drill. The 5-foot-9,
210-pounder met fullback J.R. Niklos, who was carrying a blocking pad, and took a tumble. Running backs coach Anthony Lynn made Harrison try it again.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7136 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.

TODAY
PRACTICES: 8:45-10:45 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The LOWDOWN
WHAT HAPPENED: The Browns were in pads for the only practice. It was a slow practice, with the offense and defense continuing to install their schemes.
QB DERBY: Charlie Frye won the day in a decision. He connected with Tim Carter, Braylon Edwards twice, Ryan Krause and Joe Jurevicius. Anderson found Edwards once and Kellen Winslow twice, but looked a little indecisive again.
HOLDING OUT: Talks with Brady Quinn continued, but GM Phil Savage said there was nothing to report.
SITTING OUT: Cornerbacks DeMario Minter (foot) and Gary Baxter (knees) didn’t practice, but Baxter will take the field today.
CAMPER OF THE DAY: Edwards caught balls from Frye and Anderson, including a nice grab on a pass from Frye to his outside. Edwards couldn’t get off the line against cornerback Leigh Bodden on one snap, but rebounded to beat him on a hook and make a nice catch.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Not a lot to choose from, but Frye rolled right and threw a strike to a cutting Jurevicius on the sideline. Frye is at his best on the move.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ve had three practices. No one has pulled away yet. I’ll let you guys know when somebody pulls away.” – coach Romeo Crennel, discussing the quarterback battle with reporters.
— Scott Petrak