Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Sep 2007

Frye Traded to Seattle; Fisher Traded to Tennessee

FOX Sports is reporting that Charlie Frye, the Browns starting quarterback two days ago, has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, Profootballtalk.com is suggesting that Seahawks defensive end Bryce Fisher has been traded to the Titans for a draft pick. The obvious-but-as-yet-unreported inference is that the Seahawks shipped the Titans draft pick to the Browns for Frye.

The most intriguing upshot of the Frye trade is whether it will lead to Seneca Wallace being used as a wide receiver instead of quarterback. Mike Holmgren made some noise about this possibility in his press conference this week. As for the Titans, they acquire in Bryce Fisher a high-character guy who is well liked by Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, who -- not coincidentally -- worked for the Seahawks last year.

Stay tuned for updates in the comments section as the details of these trades emerge.

Posted by: Ben Riley on 11 Sep 2007

61 comments, Last at 12 Sep 2007, 12:42pm by Alan Milnes

Comments

1
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:29pm

Wow.

2
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:34pm

Hard to imagine trading the guy who won your QB competition and returning starter after one half of football. Over-react much?

3
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:35pm

So much for my Loser League team.

4
by Dired (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:36pm

Pulled in the second quarter of the opening game, then traded two days later for a second-hand draft pick; you just don't see quarterback rejection like that every day.

The Seahawks had given up on Greene and appear to still be trying to slashify Wallace, so it makes some sense for them (at least Frye has played), especially if the draft choice is low-value. But for the Browns - hard not to put Crennell on coach-watch.

5
by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:38pm

if I was Frye, I'd be pretty happy about this.

6
by OMO (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:40pm

You really don't get a sense of "they have a clue what they are doing" over there in Cleveland do you?

I'm very sorry Browns fans...this is cruel and unusual punishment in my book.

What's next..fire Crennel and hire Jack Del Rio?

7
by Riceloft (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:41pm

If you had actually watched the quarter+ that Frye played, this wouldn't shock you AT ALL.

8
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:42pm

Re: 2

It is hard to believe. And it makes both Savage and Crennel look like idiots. I didn't see the game and it's possible that Frye was terrible, but for goodness sakes it was less than one half! Unless he was just completely ignoring the play calls I can't see how this is justified.

It smacks of desperation and scapegoating. Unless Quinn is as able to come in and be the offensive ROY, it's hard to see either Savage or Crennel back in Cleveland next year.

9
by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:44pm


Hard to imagine trading the guy who won your QB competition and returning starter after one half of football.

He only won the coin toss. If it had been a tails, Derek Anderson would be a Seahawk today.

10
by Ben Riley :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:44pm

I should add that FOX Sports is also reporting that Frye was traded for a sixth-round pick, but there's rumors that Fisher was traded for a conditional draft pick, so there's some confusion on this point.

As for the Crennel Death Watch, I urge everyone to visit the Browns official website and watch his press conference from Sunday. I stopped counting the number of times he wiped sweat from his brow at 14.

11
by Riceloft (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:47pm

10:

Yeah, there were rumors last offseason that some in the organization (including Savage) preferred to promote the DC, Todd Grantham, and can Crennel.

Crennel being fired early in the season and being replaced by Grantham wouldn't suprise me at all.

12
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:47pm

Did Pitt put their 2nd team defense in during Anderson's turn under center? Seems ludicrous to assume Anderson is a better option than Frye if Frye gets mauled by Pitt's first team, and then Anderson gets a TD in garbage time against the bench.

13
by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:50pm

So Belichick's genius didn't rub off on Crennel?

14
by Mike W (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:53pm

If Frye was good enough to win the starting job, and you pull him early in Week 1, and then you trade him, you can only be saying that your choices are uniformly unpalatable. Scapegoating for sure. Quinn better be studying the playbook extra hard, because he'll be in there soon.

Very sad that Crennel, et al, insist on embarrassing their veteran QBs in an effort to skirt blame.

15
by Riceloft (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:54pm

12:

Anderson came in and scored against the first team. By the 4th Quarter, however, the 2nd team Pitt D was in. Anderson and Frye both suck.

Frye holds onto the ball too long, AND makes poor throws. Anderson at least gets the ball out most of the time, but still makes poor throws, like 2 balls that bounced off the chests of Pittsburgh players last week.

All of this doesn't matter. Its a matter of "who can play and suck less until Quinn gets in".

16
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:55pm

13: It's all part of the Bellicheck master plan. Step one, get a head coaching job in Cleveland. Step two, create a QB controversy. Step 3, get fired and return to old job as DC for your mentor. Step 4, get selected as next HC for that team, but quit immediately and switch over to division rival. Step 5, win 3 Superbowls.

17
by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:57pm

What I don't get is why the Seahawks did this when players like Leftwich are still around. Do they really need to give up a draft pick to sign a QB that wasn't good enough to play in Cleveland? Is a 6th round pick really worth it for a 3rd-string QB? Craziness.

18
by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:04pm

Does it really matter? The Browns have completely screwed up this situation.

What they need to do is hire a free agent QB, Have Anderson be the starter for several weeks. Split carries Lewis with whoever they think actually has some potential, and get stomped for several weeks.

Have Quinn take half the practice from the first team during this time.

Have Anderson focus on short stuff, and no turn overs. Don't even worry about trying to get the first down, just 3 yards at a time.

Then prepare for Quinn to take over, take your high draft pick next year and get something on offense like an RB, and get ready for next year.

I know it's week one, but you're the Browns, you have screwed up your team already to start the season, you might as well get Anderson comfortable, and work on timing in practice with Quinn.

I know it sounds like a weak solution, but there's no good solution. Try to run ball control little mistakes, and if you lose let it be because you couldn't move the ball.

Then Quinn can go out there with a vanilla offense in the same light, and lose through not moving the ball (and not sacks, and ints), and you can just get him full protection reps that won't have a large impact on his psyche (he can mentally blame it on the coaches bad game plans, lack of ball movement.)

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a right. So who cares what they do as long as they aren't hurting the franchise for the future.

19
by zip (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:06pm

#16

NICE!

20
by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:07pm

Just checked the Browns depth chart for ideas on what they should do. Frye is still listed as the starter which is hilarious.

21
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:08pm

Re: 18

Their high draft pick next year is already on the roster (Quinn). Dallas get to deal with having the first pick next year.

22
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:17pm

The Steelers can make even good QBs look bad, especially early in the game. Here are the first four series of a pretty good non-Frye QB in a relatively recent home game vs. the Steelers.

3 and out.

3 and out.

1 first down, followed by two sacks and punt.

3 and out.

Looks a lot like Frye's performance (hint: this guy is in a few commercials).

23
by oljb (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:18pm

You know what this means? There's still a chance that Charlie Frye will have to face the Steelers twice this year, even though he escaped the division.

24
by the K (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:21pm

#16: Win.

25
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:24pm

I think the odds are non-zero that Crennel is fired before COB Tuesday.

26
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:26pm

Why don't the Browns try to get Leftwich?

Also, I think any genius that Crennel had was taken over by the horrible curse that is the Browns.

27
by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:35pm

Ok, so if this plays to form, Crennel will be fired this season, work for Belichick three years whereupon he'll re-establish his reputation as a defensive genius, and be set to take over as HC of the Pats as Belichick retires. At the last minute, though, he'll sign with the Miami Dolphins, then take them to the Super bowl after Ted Ginn tears his ACL in week 4, and is replaced by a sixth-round draft pick who subsequently breaks Marvin Harrison's single-season receptions record.

28
by sam (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:40pm

This has to be a worse move than cutting Leftwich 10 days before the season opener, right? Right? Jacksonville no longer owns "worst-timed questionable roster decision of the season" right?

29
by Vash (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:40pm

National Jump To Conclusions Week hits the Browns too.

Yeah, they really have no idea what they're doing out there.

Buy low, sell high anyone? How much lower could you possibly sell?

30
by sam (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:42pm

26:

Just was Leftwich needs: to be on a team with a quarterback controversy. Because if he ever started for the Browns, the fans would immediately be calling for Quinn. And, if Leftwich comes in and plays well, what do you do with Brady Quinn?

31
by oldnumberseven (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:44pm

I was a Steelers fan in Ohio on gameday. Listened to the Cleveland ESPN talk radio station until I lost it heading back to Morgantown, but these moves make me think that the people in charge of the Browns were listening as well. I almost felt bad for Frye and Crennell after listening to all the calls for their heads. Almost.

32
by Balaji (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:46pm

#23: I was just thinking that. Frye is no doubt praying for Matt Hasselbeck's continued good health through week 5.

33
by Some Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:47pm

ESPN is reporting that the Brown's are going to resign Ken Dorsey, who apparently mentored Quinn during the preseason. Make of that what you will.

34
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:48pm

Link in name to article from Tennesseean describing Fisher trade. As the article notes, the Titans will need to make a roster move to clear up space. Surprisingly, the Titans kept 9 DL out of training camp; this was something that had been discussed before, but hadn't happened, at least in the past 3 years for sure. DT Jesse Mahelona was inactive on Sunday, so it'll be interesting to see if he's the one to go or someone else is.

35
by Carlos (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:55pm

kind of like Patrick Ramsey being the starter for less than a half of the first game with Washington, and then being stuck to the bench all season and then being released (or was he traded for bag of balls? can't remember).

You'd think coaches and GMs could do a better job with the most important and, frankly, obvious position (as in, there's not a lot of "hidden" stuff going on like there is with the OL).

36
by Shawn (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:57pm

Re: #16

So will it be the Bills or the Dolphins where we see Romeo next?

37
by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:05pm

The sports radio station in Green Bay has a regular feature on Monday called the "Cleveland Browns Minute", where they check to see how the Browns are doing. The reason for that is that Cleveland offered next year's first round pick for the Packers pick. Instead, the Packers selected Justin Harrell, who was inactive in week 1. That draft choice is certainly looking like it will be in the top 10. It was a decision lacking in foresight.

38
by Joel (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:09pm

Maybe Crennel is a bad coach. Although I'm not sure what kind of results to expect with possibly the least-talented roster in the league.

39
by DrObviousSo (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:13pm

This does feed into my crazy theory that Savage et al have written off winning at all the first 3 or 4 years of rebuilding. They pick up a bunch of short term investments in the form of aging bruising backs like Droughns and Lewis, and overwork them while they focus on key pickups in non'skill' possitions like LeCharles Bently, Joe Thomas, Wimbly, and develop a few skill players like Edwards and Winslow. Toward the end, they pick up a QB. Any sooner, and they'd be pressured to put him in with a weak team and end up 'Tim Couching' him. All they really need is a little time for Quinn to mature and a good RB, who can be picked up either in the draft or as a free agent at the end of this year.

If they got a second round pick for Frye, that's a win. I think that's what they invested in him, and he was never needed after this season anyway. Anderson is just as much of a warm body as Frye is.

I don't expect to see Quinn in any meaningful way this year, and I expect a big RB pick up for the Browns this off season. This crazy theory also says that Romeo sticks around this year.

40
by Ben Riley :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:24pm

#38 "If they got a second round pick for Frye, that’s a win."

Again, FOX Sports is reporting that the Seahawks traded a sixth-round pick for Frye.

41
by mactbone (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:27pm

Re 28:
Which team did you think could make the playoffs?

I mean, do the expectations really change in Cleveland?

42
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:36pm

If they got a second-round pick for Frye, Phil Savage is in the running for Executive of the Year.

43
by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:42pm

#27 is damn funny. I think Bellichick's true genius is that, like some alien from Star Trek, he sucked all the genius out of Crennel before he left.

"Go! Go to the Browns, you fool! You could have had it all here, but no, you had to piss me off. Here, let me taste your brain. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"

44
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:50pm

Bobman,

Given Notre Dame's current performance, you might be right.

45
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:10pm

Can you imagine Cleveland telling Frye the news. Did Frye, smile, giggle or just laugh uncontrollably for several minutes. The only question is how many teammates stuff resumes in Fryes pocket on his way out the door.

46
by DrObviousSo (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:13pm

Stupid reading skills. Yeah, 6th round sounds about right.

47
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:34pm

I'm surprised Fischer was so unhappy. I know he was pissed about being beat out by Darryl Tapp, but the Seahawks rotate guys so much all it really affects is stadium introductions at 4 home games. It's too bad, he really seems like a great guy, and he was definately great with the community.

48
by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:42pm

#42 - Is this the new meme? Don't quit your job, lest Zombie-Belichick come at midnight to feast upon your tasty brains?

49
by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:55pm

What's most surprising was that the Seahawks gave up anything at all. If Frye had been cut, who on earth would the Seahawks have been competing against for his services? Did they really have to offer a #6 because some other team out there was offering a #7? Not saying that Frye is the utter trash that he appeared to be on Sunday, but in a league where Leftwich is unemployed how could Frye possibly have any trade value whatsoever? Did Holmgren owe Savage or Crennel a solid?

50
by BrownsAgony (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:55pm

Charlie Frye is not smart enough to play NFL Football. If a QB can't read defenses and call out the right protections, he's going to get sacked whether his OL's stink or not. Also, if he can't learn how to throw without putting too much air under the ball, he's going to get picked off whether his WR's stink or not. He should not have been drafted, and should not have been starting for any team. The Seahawks are doing the Browns a favor by taking Frye off their hands. Not that I think Brady Quinn should play this year at all. Hopefully, he'll ride the pine all year and get ready under our new coach next year. Romeo's a nice guy, but he's no motivator or leader of men. He's obviously no more than a good D-coordinator.

51
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:56pm

The Seahawks are dumb about trading for players. See: 1st rounder for a holding-out Deion Branch.

52
by Jim (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 6:07pm

Is it possible that this move is to clear up roster space for Leftwich?

Anyway, as a Cowboys fan (who therefore cares deeply about the Browns fortunes this season), I don't know what to think about this move. On the one hand, desperation and total chaos is a good thing. On the other hand, they're that much closer to playing a qb with actual talent. As bad as Quinn might be for several games, a win or two down the line may be the difference between the 1st pick and the 4th.

53
by vanya (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 6:15pm

#43 - And Mangenius didn't come off looking so great this week-end either. All in all the Belichick coaching tree is not putting down very stable roots.

54
by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 7:04pm

The Charlie Frye experience in Cleveland is an interesting one, but is it as interesting as Jim Miller's tenure as the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback?

If you Steelers fans remember, following Super Bowl XXX, Neil O'Donnell - a tremendously underrated quarterback in Pittsburgh, I think - bolted to the greener pastures of New York, leaving the Steelers with an open competition for the job the following season.

Kordell Stewart
Mike Tomczack
Jim Miller

The training camp battle was boring, nobody wanted to see Kordell as the starting quarterback, because at this time, Kordell Stewart was the most popular Steeler in town riding the wave of fame that was, "SLASH!"

Mike Tomczack was an old journeyman who played only sparingly the previous two seasons.

Jim Miller, on the other hand, was an under the radar mediocrity from Michigan State. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, expected him to have a shot at winning the job.

When Bill Cowher announced the starting QB prior to the opener, everyone was expecting it to be either Tomczack or Stewart...and it was Jim Miller.

The defending AFC Champions were going to put their season in the hands of Jim...Miller.

To open that season, the Steelers were opening up in Jacksonville against a second year expansion team, Miller proceeded to go 9-of-17 for 80 yards in a Charlie Frye-like quarter-and-a-half.

He was lifted, replaced by Tomczack, didn't play again until some mop-up duty in week 10 in a game that was a total blowout, and disappeared off the NFL landscape for four years.

55
by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 8:52pm

Romeo’s a nice guy, but he’s no motivator or leader of men.

I wonder how much this is actually necessary for NFL coaches. Belichick got the same criticism for his time in Cleveland, but has recieved accolades for his motivation in New England. Crennel was known as a motivator and a good D-coordinator in New England...remember, he figured out a way to hold Indy's most impressive possing offense to 3 points in the playoffs with a defensive secondary made out of spit and baling wire (a.k.a. Earthwind Moreland). Yet now he is no motivator?

I wonder how much of Belichick's, and Crennel's, "motivation" actually comes from having guys like Tedy Bruschi and Tom Brady on the team, and how much the lack of "motivation" in Cleveland actually comes from Cleveland not having very much talent... or players that try to motivate the team...

56
by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 11:07pm

51 -- No, it cleared up space for Ken Dorsey, if you are asking about the Browns at least.

54 -- I agree, but I also think good coaches have some impact, and it's hard to see what impact Romeo has had in improving the Browns. Mangini's and Payton's successes last year seemed to be anomalies (and I'm referring here to the dramatic improvement shown last year, not the fact that they both lost 1 game this year), but a good coach will generally get some improvement out of his team. Romeo's charges seem to be running in place even in year 3.

57
by jimcooder (not verified) :: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 11:22pm

To clear this up for a few of you, Cleveland has not first round pick next year (its Dallas's in the Quinn deal) so it doesn't really matter that much if they tank it this year.

Also I'm going to go out and say that if you did not see Charlie Frye play against the Steelers or unless you seen alot of Frye playing in the past year ("and judging by this year's attendence you haven't" - H. Doyle) I'm going to have to just dismiss your opinion. #15 hit it right on the head. Frye takes sacks. His line is not the reason he is taking sacks, he is the reason he is taking sacks, and on a website like this I think we can all agree that sacks kill drives. He is a very very bad QB who showed absolutely NO DEVELOPMENT through pre-season or in the first quarter of the game. This isn't an over-reaction this is a late-reaction. They should have never been going into this season with Charlie Frye as their QB. This lands on Savage more than anything else. Damn if the browns would just export their front office duties to the Indians this nonsense would have never happened!

58
by Trieu (not verified) :: Wed, 09/12/2007 - 1:08am

#6 - I agree with OMO. The Frye trade evinces a complete lack of front office direction. If Frye is bad enough to trade for a bag of peanuts now, he was also that bad before the season began. The only way that 20 minutes of football sways your thinking is if you have no coherent thoughts to begin with.

59
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 09/12/2007 - 11:32am

This has to be a worse move than cutting Leftwich 10 days before the season opener, right? Right? Jacksonville no longer owns “worst-timed questionable roster decision of the season� right?

Well, seeing as Leftwich was actually going to play well, I think the Jaguars still have the prize. But don't worry, there's still time for some other team to screw up even more.

60
by zerlesen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/12/2007 - 12:25pm

Apologies if I'm misremembering, but wasn't there a bit in one of the FO field trips where Ron Jaworski said that, in his opinion, Frye simply wasn't an NFL quarterback?

(And not that everything Jaws says is gospel, but that's a much harsher statement than you'd usually expect to get from an analyst...)

61
by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Wed, 09/12/2007 - 12:42pm

re 56

The point is that if he is that bad why keep around on the roster and start the season with him? That's the issue.