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QB Couch's career as Brown may end soon

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003

The Browns are exploring their options at quarterback, which could mean Tim Couch has played his last game for Cleveland.

Couch's 76.8 quarterback rating ranked 15th in the AFC last season, and he threw 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in finishing 8-6 during the regular season. In four seasons, Couch has thrown 57 touchdowns and 61 interceptions.

Backup Kelly Holcomb was 1-1 in two starts, had a 92.9 rating for the season and threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns in the playoff loss to the Steelers after Couch broke his right fibula.

Cleveland fans already have Couch traded to Chicago, Arizona, Miami, Denver or any team that needs a quarterback.

Coach Butch Davis is expected to gauge the market for Couch as he did for receiver Kevin Johnson and linebacker Jamir Miller the past two seasons.

Johnson and Miller stayed with the Browns, but Couch seems resigned to a new start elsewhere. Under his contract, he would count $7.95-million against the Browns' salary cap in 2003 and has future base salaries of $6.2-million, $7.6-million and $8-million.

"In this league, quarterbacks change teams all the time, and so, definitely, that is in my mind that it is a possibility and that it might happen," Couch told James Brown on Sporting News Radio.

"I'm really preparing like I'm going to be here in Cleveland, and I don't want to get my mind wandering somewhere else, but if it does happen, then I'll have to go make it somewhere else and continue to work hard and let things happen for me."

49ERS: Defensive secondary coach Brett Maxie and three others were the latest assistants to be retained by coach Dennis Erickson. Maxie, offensive quality control coach Jason Tarver, defensive assistant Dan Quinn and Chris Beake, who will become offensive assistant, will stay with the team.

JETS: Starting free safety Damien Robinson will be released before March 1, his agent, James Gould, said. Robinson signed as a free agent before the 2001 season, joining coach Herman Edwards, his secondary coach in Tampa Bay.

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