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AP: Browns Release Quarterback Tim Couch

June 9, 2004

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Tim Couch was released Wednesday after five seasons with the Cleveland Browns, a league source told the Associated Press.

Couch’s release ends five stormy years in Cleveland for the former No. 1 overall draft pick. The Browns are expected to announce the move later Wednesday, said the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The quarterback was the franchise’s first selection as an expansion team in 1999, but his time with the Browns was marked by injuries, losing seasons and controversy.

The Browns did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Couch, who recently filed a grievance against the team for banning him from working at their training facility, was unavailable for comment.

Messages also were left for his agent, Tom Condon.

A few weeks ago, Browns coach Butch Davis said he had no plans to cut the 26-year-old Couch, who lost his starting job when the club signed free agent Jeff Garcia in March.

However, the Browns decided to end their relationship with Couch a month before training camp opened, freeing him to sign with another NFL team.

Couch’s $7.6 million salary for 2004 made it impossible for the Browns to keep him as a backup. Davis had been reluctant to release Couch, fearing he might sign with AFC North rival Baltimore.

However, the Ravens recently signed Kordell Stewart as a backup for Kyle Boller.

Couch, 26, could soon land with another team. Condon has had ongoing talks for the past two months with the Green Bay Packers about Couch joining them to be Brett Favre’s backup.

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