LOG CABIN DEMOCRAT AND ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Cleveland Browns have traded quarterback Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos for fullback Peyton Hillis and a 2011 draft pick.
The teams announced the trade Sunday and said the deal is pending physicals.
Hillis, a former Conway High and University of Arkansas standout, was a seventh-round draft choice of Denver in 2008. He played in 28 games with eight starts in his two years with the Broncos and totaled 397 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 81 attempts (4.9 avg.). He caught 18 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown.
His departure doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Denver coach Josh McDaniels had gradually phased out Hillis’ playing time in favor of using Knowshon Moreno. Hillis is one of five running backs listed on the Browns’ roster. Jed Collins is the only other player listed at fullback.
The former Wampus Cat standout was a two-time all-state and all-conference recipient at CHS. Hillis earned the prestigious Landers Award his senior year and is the only Conway player to be named a Parade All-American.
As a senior, Hillis rushed for 2,631 yards and 29 touchdowns, including nine touchdowns of more than 55 yards. His yardage total was the second highest single-season total in Class AAAAA history, trailing only fellow Razorback De’Arrius Howard (2,746). He earned 100 yards or more in all the games he played his senior year, which included a missed game against Little Rock Parkview. During his junior season, Hillis racked up 1,427 yards and had 17 touchdowns.
At Arkansas, Hillis amassed 959 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 118 passes for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns. One of his most notable games was his final regular-season game at the UA, when the Hogs defeated then-No. 1 LSU 50-48 in overtime in which he had 151 all-purpose offensive yards and scored four touchdowns.
Quinn’s departure comes one day after the Browns agreed to terms with free agent Jake Delhomme on a two-year contract.
Quinn went 3-9 in 12 starts for Cleveland, which drafted him in the first round of the 2007 draft.
“I appreciate everything Brady did for us last year and in his three seasons with the Cleveland Browns,” coach Eric Mangini said in a statement. “He is professional in the way he goes about doing his job and worked extremely hard at every aspect of his game. I wish him the best of success in Denver.”
Quinn won Cleveland’s starting job last season, but was benched after 2 1/2 games for Derek Anderson. Quinn eventually got his job back when Anderson struggled but the former Notre Dame star was hindered by inaccuracy and never developed into the player the Browns had hoped.
His days in Cleveland appeared numbered when new president Mike Holmgren failed to endorse Quinn as the Browns’ future starter. Last week, the Browns acquired backup Seneca Wallace in a trade with Seattle, released Anderson and hosted Delhomme, recently cut by Carolina.
The Broncos reportedly pursued Quinn last season when they were trying to replace Jay Cutler.