CLEVELAND — Brandon Weeden will have to fight off a proven veteran to keep his starting job with the Browns.
Cleveland signed free agent quarterback Jason Campbell to a two-year contract Tuesday night, bringing him in to provide competition for Weeden, who had an uneven rookie season in 2012.
Campbell has started 71 career games for Washington, Oakland and Chicago since being drafted by the Redskins in the first round (25th overall) in 2005. The 32-year-old will provide a legitimate challenge to Weeden, and his arrival could mean the Browns will part ways with former starter Colt McCoy.
“Jason is an established leader who has started a number of games in this league and has had success,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said in a statement. “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.”
Campbell spent first five years with the Redskins, becoming one of four quarterbacks in franchise history to throw for 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He became the franchise leader in career completion percentage (61.2) and his passer rating of 82.3 was second-best in Washington history. He also set a team record by throwing 271 consecutive passes without an interception.
He was traded to Oakland before the 2010 season and spent two years with the Raiders, making 18 starts. He went 4-2 in the first six games of 2011 before breaking his collarbone and missing the final 10 games.
Campbell signed with the Bears as an unrestricted free agent in 2012 and served as Jay Cutler’s backup.
Cleveland’s new regime had indicated it would find a QB to push Weeden, who said during the offseason he was confident he would beat out any challenger in training camp.
Campbell is 30-41 as a starter. He has completed 1,328 of 2,182 career passes (61 percent) for 14,682 yards with 76 TDs, 52 interceptions and an 82.5 passer rating
“We are excited to have Jason as a member the Cleveland Browns,” team CEO Joe Banner said. “He is a veteran player who has been productive throughout his career and will be a good addition to our team.”