Backup quarterback Jason Campbell will be given a legitimate shot to beat out Brandon Weeden for the starting job, and the competition between the two is more than just lip service, league sources said.

That's one of the main reasons the Browns have been reluctant during the off-season to tout Weeden as their guy for 2013.

On the final day of the recent NFL Draft, when asked if not drafting a QB meant the Browns were committed to Weeden, head coach Rob Chudzinski said: "I feel good about the group. How all that plays out, we'll see and know in time. I'm excited about Brandon and the progress he's made thus far, learning the system to the point we are right now, which is still very early.

"I've also been pleased with Jason [Campbell] and the role he's taken on being there.

"We want to give these guys every opportunity to succeed and give Brandon, since you are asking about him specifically, every opportunity to succeed."

Pressed on whether the team is moving forward with Weeden as the intended starter, Chudzinski said: "We're going to proceed as we're proceeding right now."

"Brandon is getting the reps with the first team and working with the first group. A lot of this will remain to be seen when we get into pads and we get into real football instead of the football where you run around in shorts on air."

Chudzinski's remarks were consistent with what he said during the Browns' voluntary minicamp April 16-18, in which Weeden took the first-team reps.

Campbell, who heads into camp as the clear No. 2, had other options in free agency but signed with the Browns because they provided him with the best opportunity to return to a starting role. And his contract includes plenty of incentives and escalators if he lands the job.

He signed a two-year deal worth $3.75 million, including $500,000 guaranteed. His base salaries are $1.5 million in 2013 and $2.25 million in 2014. But if he plays 65 percent to 79 percent of the snaps in 2013, he'll receive an extra $350,000 this year and $2 million more in 2014. And if he plays at least 80 percent of the snaps, the incentive for 2013 increases to $800,000.

(The escalators include an extra $500,000 in 2014 for 30 percent of the snaps, $1 million for 40 percent and $1.5 million for 50 percent.)

And even though Campbell is a willing mentor for Weeden, he's determined to regain the starting status he had in 2011 before former Browns linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita converged on him and broke his collarbone in a 24-17 Raiders victory Oct. 16. Campbell had led the Raiders to a 4-2 start that season and was one of the most talked-about quarterbacks in the NFL.

But the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer, and Campbell became expendable. He signed a one-year deal with the Bears last season to back up Jay Cutler and try to get his career back on track, but losing the starting job in Oakland still sticks in his craw.

"I was off to the best season of my career," Campbell said at minicamp. "To wake up and find out about the trade [for Palmer] and know I wasn't starting anymore, it was a tough pill to swallow."

Campbell, a ninth-year pro, has been respectful of Weeden's incumbent status and has been careful not to step on any toes.