Saturday is a relatively slow day for football traffic. It's the slowest day of the week here on the OBR. Around 6PM on a Saturday is about as sleepy as it gets on our pages and forums.
It's almost tempting to think that the story about Jake Delhomme's signing was leaked out when it was likely to be noticed by the least number of people. If that was the objective, well, it failed.
A little after 6PM, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the news, which is how a lot of free agent signings are broadcasted these days. Schefter now occupies the top of agent's call lists much like his fellow ESPN co-horts John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli did a few years ago. Agents and others always turn to the reporter with the most eyeballs first when there's big news to relay.
As soon as Schefter hangs up the phone and tweets the news, other journalists either cede the point and reference him, or scramble to save face by calling around until a "source" can tell them whatever everyone else already knows.
On many free agent signings, especially one of a recently-cut veteran clearly on the downside of his career, that's about as far as it goes. There's a smattering of quick analysis that shows up until the next item of news comes down the pike, and then fans and writers move along to devour the newest offering.
Not this time. An uproar immediately greeted the signing of Delhomme.
DamageInc – What the hell is Holmgren doing? Good God...
Apdetwiler - Other then what was on the roster to finish last year, this guy was biggest piece of garbage in the NFL.
Phootag12 - is he really an upgrade over wallace, or even quinn?
Shinigami - Wow just an absolutely terrible pick up.I know BQ hasn't been great but I would much rather see him play and maybe develop then to watch Delhomme go out and chuck int's all day because his arm is trash.
Buckeye4ever - Fail. Disaster.
@mjretchless24 - Jake Delhomme is the answer to no ones problems. To put it bluntly, he sucks.
@thageniusz - I am overwhelmed with doubt
But Browns fans were not the only ones less than impressed with the QB signing by the team's new front office. Check out these messages left by national sportswriters trying to wrap their minds around the news:
Peter King (SI): Browns paying Delhomme starter money, $7 million in '10 ... Is there a word I can use for this stronger than "insane?''… What I don't understand: Browns getting Jake instead of dealing with Andy Reid for one of Phil's QBs. Cleveland hasn't solved QB problem.
Andrew Siciliano (FSN): Carolina ate $12 million to cut Delhomme. Shocking decision by Holmgren… This FA signing puts Al Davis to shame… Delhomme had two 4 INT games and one 3 INT last year. Quinn, albeit shaky, has never thrown more than 2 in any NFL game… The FA QB choices are slim, if not dismal. Jake Delhomme, however, is a turnover machine… I refuse to accept that Jake Delhomme is a better option than Brady Quinn...and I have little faith in Quinn.
Mike Florio (PFT): Jerry Richardson should send a ham to Randy Lerner
Adam Schefter (ESPN): For those wondering about Quinn's future, consider: Browns paying Jake Delhomme starter money -- $7 million this season.
Chris Mortensen (ESPN): Ah, the Browns. Somebody can get a bargain in Brady Quinn. Look at his tape in '08 before he hurt his hand. Has every intangible, too…. I just called (Ron Jaworski) and he absolutely concurs that Quinn should be starting somewhere compared to some guys starting in NFL...Sean Payton already had Brees but after spending 2 hours on flight with Quinn, Payton said, "I love that kid. Football's important to him."
David Canter (Agent): Holy bat balls Jake Interception Delhomme will make 19mil this year. What is wrong with this picture?
The national media will quickly lose interest in this signing and move on to the next story. Browns fans, meanwhile, will wait to understand what appears on the surface to be a less-than-inspiring move. Some will hope that Mike Holmgren, a quarterback guru if there ever was one, has seen something in Delhomme not visible to the rest of us.
It's hard to deny, however, that the Cleveland Browns most significant signing so far this off-season, at the sports most important position, is leaving many scratching their heads.
It took the national media less than an hour to castigate the decision and paint the move as part of being the "same old Browns". Next.
Browns fans, meanwhile, are left to wait, watch, and hope that they haven't seen the new brain trust's end game. For a fan base that has waited 46 years (and counting), we certainly can give Holmgren and company another couple of months to see if they have a trump card they are waiting to play.