's midseason benching spelled the end of his time in Cleveland. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Cleveland Browns gave quarterback Brandon Weeden every opportunity to show that he was worthy of the No. 22 overall pick that they spent on him in the 2012 NFL Draft, but after he failed to hold off the likes of Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer in 2013, the team has finally pulled the plug.
Cleveland announced on Wednesday afternoon that the team would be releasing the former first-round pick.
Weeden has been a disappointment since joining the Browns, and he ends his career in Cleveland with more interceptions (26) than touchdowns (23). The Browns' failed experiment with Weeden caused them to miss out on other signal-callers who were available, and they will finally look to get back on the right path in the 2014 NFL Draft.
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While Weeden is unlikely to receive any interest as a starting quarterback on the market, he should get a few looks from teams who are looking to upgrade behind their starter.
The Browns have been linked to all of the top quarterbacks in the 2014 class -- Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles of UCF and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater -- and they also have interest in Derek Carr.
If the Browns learned anything from the 2012 NFL Draft, they will use their first of two first-round picks in an attempt to find their quarterback of the future. The team's decision to release veteran backup Jason Campbell on Wednesday made that route even more likely.