New York Jets quarterback Brady Quinn walks across the field during Monday’s practice in Florham Park, N.J.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Brady Quinn is the newest member of the New York Jets’ quarterback carousel.
The Jets signed the veteran Monday to give them an experienced backup behind rookie Geno Smith, who appears likely to start the season opener against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Quinn, a first-round draft pick of Cleveland in 2007, was cut by Seattle on Saturday. His signing also clouds the future of Mark Sanchez, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury and could miss at least the first few weeks of the season.
Quinn was on the field at practice with the other quarterbacks, while Sanchez was off to the side on a stationary bike during the 30-minute window the media were allowed to watch.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Quinn said. “The Jets are a historic organization. I think just to be able to work with a guy like (QBs coach) David Lee and coach (Marty) Mornhinweg, is a great opportunity for me.”
Sanchez appeared in good shape to win the starting job over Smith, the team’s second-round pick, until he took a hard hit to his right shoulder from the Giants’ Marvin Austin late in the fourth quarter of the third preseason game. The Jets have said only that Sanchez is “day to day,” but Quinn’s arrival could indicate that there are concerns about Sanchez’s short-term availability.
The move could also be insurance for Smith, who had an up-and-down preseason and showed he was still quite raw.
“It was just an opportunity for us to get a good football player,” coach Rex Ryan said.
Quinn said he wasn’t sure what his role with the Jets will be, but added that he wasn’t told anything definitively about the status of Sanchez or who would be starting the season opener.
The Jets also cut recently signed quarterback Graham Harrell, and released quarterback Greg McElroy with an injury settlement. McElroy, dealing with a knee injury, had cleared waivers and reverted to the team’s injured reserve list. The only other quarterback on the team is the inexperienced Matt Simms, who had a terrific preseason but has never thrown a pass in a regular-season NFL game.
Quinn was once considered the quarterback of the future for the Browns, but has bounced around the league while never living up to those expectations. He has 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in six seasons with the Browns, Broncos and Chiefs.
He was expected to be a top-10 pick in 2007, but slid to No. 22 and dealt with injuries and inconsistency during his time with the Browns. Quinn was traded to Denver in 2010, but never played in any games for the Broncos. He signed with Kansas City as a free agent before last season and appeared in 10 games, including a two-touchdown performance in a win against Carolina on Dec. 3.
“I think it’s like anything else in life,” Quinn said. “I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunities I’ve had. For anyone who feels that it hasn’t gone the way it’s supposed to, I just feel blessed to have the opportunity. ... It hasn’t gone the dream way that you envision, but I’m still playing and still doing what I love to do.”
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