Browns should move on from McCoy

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During the team-by-team offseason to-do lists for PFT Live, I said that the Browns need to make a clear decision on quarterback Colt McCoy.  Keep him as the starter, or move on.  Bringing in someone with whom McCoy would simply compete wouldn’t work.

After trying unsuccessfully to trade up for the ability to land Robert Griffin III, the Browns opted to use the 22nd overall pick on 28-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden.  And that means it’s time for McCoy to go.

Jamison Hensley of believes that Browns president Mike Holmgren wants to keep McCoy as the backup to Weeden.  That would be a mistake, for a couple of reasons.

First, if Weeden struggles, the mob will call for McCoy, second-guessing the decision the use a first-round pick on a quarterback who isn’t performing any better than McCoy did.

Second, the presence of McCoy risks a reprise of the Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn debacle of 2007-08.

Quinn’s holdout during his rookie season opened the door for Anderson to earn the backup spot behind Charlie Frye, giving Anderson the first crack at replacing the Week One starter when the Week One starter was traded, not long after Week One ended.  And with everyone expecting Quinn to eventually take over for Anderson, Anderson played without the burden of worrying about losing his job.  Consequently, Anderson performed well, pushing the Browns to the brink of the postseason and earning a new contract and playing worse in 2008, when he finally had something to lose.

The Browns shouldn’t take the chance that McCoy, if given the task of playing until Weeden is ready, would play well enough to make it harder to go with Weeden, especially if third overall pick Trent Richardson opens up the passing game by drawing safeties toward the line of scrimmage.  If the Browns liked Weeden enough to make him the 22nd overall pick, the Browns should put him on the field from the first week of his first year.  And they shouldn’t tempt fate by giving McCoy a chance to keep Weeden on the bench long enough to make it harder to take the job from McCoy and give it to the rookie.

So don’t play games in the hopes of getting value for McCoy.  If a deal can be done now, do it.  If not, cut him loose.  McCoy’s presence will only make it harder to get the most out of Weeden.

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28 responses to “Browns should move on from McCoy

  1. No, Colt is cap-friendly and happy to have a job, plus he already knows the offense and can step in if there is an injury. The Browns would be fools to trade him – no way they get a replacement that is as cap-friendly and ready to step in.

    Besides, Cleveland fans always think the backup will be better than the starter. I’m sure that even Otto Graham heard the boo’s. Moving McCoy won’t change that dynamic.

  2. Why don’t they keep him as a backup this year? If he doesn’t do well, then they lost nothing and stand right where they are now. If he see’s playing time and DOES perform well, they just raised his trade value for next year (See: Matt Flynn).

  3. Problem is, Seneca Wallace is not a mentor. He’s made that perfectly clear. McCoy has a very team friendly contract while Wallace is set to earn over 2 million this year. So cutting McCoy and keeping Wallace makes no sense. There’s no Delholmme to mentor Weeden. Unless they bring a vet with working knowledge of the WCO like say Seeley, Weeden is doomed. IMO letting McCoy go would not help this program.

  4. So, like Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Jake Locker, Tim Teebow, etc… non-top 10 first round quarterbacks have to start now? I understand McCoy having to leave, but why does Weeden have to start now? First of all, just because he’s 28 doesn’t mean he really is any more ready to run a pro style offense after that gimmick he ran at OK State. Secondly, if he was really ready to play from day one, then he a) wouldn’t have been universally panned as a reach/panic move, and b) would have been drafted before the 22nd pick. Not saying he’d have gone top 10, just not last 3rd or so in the first round.

    Again, I understand that McCoy has to go, but Weeden doesn’t HAVE to start from the first week of the first year. He is a rookie, just like everybody else was in this league at one point.

  5. Weeden starts game 1 and never sees the bench.
    Keep McCoy and tell Wallace thanks for nothing.

  6. They should have traded him before Saturday. Some team that didn’t get a QB in rounds 1-3 probably would have thrown a fourth at them to get McCoy rather than take a flyer on whatever dreck was left on the board.

    Now, with the draft done and the UDFAs signed, rosters are full and no team is likely to make a trade until camp starts and someone gets hurt.

  7. Comparing Derek Anderson to a competent mentally strong NFL quarterback is an insult and laughable.

  8. When the Browns drafted Colt, Holmgren said he was a developmental player who wouldn’t be ready to start for 2-3 years. Isn’t that now? I mean, he was thrust in as a starter much earlier than planned, so why should he have been expected to perform better? Especially behind that line an with those WRs and RBs? Seems as though Weeden, who I like, would’ve been perfect 3-5 round pick as a backup. Even if he’s Weinke, after two years of OJT that only gets you 3-4 years.

  9. I was pissed at the pick when I heard. Totally pissed. Mainly because two of the people I’d hope we would draft were taken in consecutive picks after the 28-yr-old Weeden (Riley & DeCastro). I will be following the careers of those three players because if we whiffed on an old QB that for all intents and purposes no one was looking at and passed on a future Pro-Bowl (if there is one) RT or G I will be pissed.

    We didn’t need yet another fresh start at QB this year as much as we needed a starting calliber RT or G. Colt McCoy could have become Drew Brees for all we know. QB’s take some time to get it, 3 or 4 years. I said give him time. Since we didn’t get RGIII give Colt time. But they didn’t. It is cheaper to keep Colt so they will but it is a disservice ot him if he outplays Weeden in the preseason, which he might.

  10. reebs33 says:
    Apr 30, 2012 9:10 AM
    It also worked out horribly for Green Bay when they drafted Rodgers…

    Umm…….yeah. Absolutely no similarity whatsoever in any way shape or form between the two situations.

  11. I can see the point of getting rid of McCoy immediately, but I think I’d hold onto him for another year, for two reasons. First, you need a competent backup QB in case the starter gets hurt. Second, why dump him NOW, when you can’t get anything for him? Wait until some team has its starter go down and is desperate for a replacement. Then you can dangle McCoy, a smart young guy with a great work ethic and experience as an NFL starter. Maximize his value; don’t just throw him away to spare Brandon Weeden’s feelings.

  12. There’s a reason Weeden was the fourth QB drafted, this guy despite him being older then Jay Cutler is not ready. Keep McCoy and may the best man win.

  13. Anytime a starter is struggling fans call for the backup to come in. This isn’t anything new. Regardless of whether Colt or someone else is the backup, if Weeden struggles fans may call for #2 to step up.

    News flash, this is normal!

  14. Holmgren made his mark as an offensive coordinator with San Fran and brought that experience to Green Bay as HC. It is my opinion that without Holmgren there would never have been Brett Favre. But that appears to be his high water mark. As both GM and HC in Seattle he wasn’t getting anywhere until he brought Ted Thompson in from the Packers (who, after 5 years, returned to Green Bay to be their GM). Then Seattle began the best run of their 35 year franchise. And now as the head of football operations it appears that Holmgren is just as lost, if not more so. As a designer of offenses and a shaper of QB’s (including Young, Bono, and Favre) he’s one of the best. That’s where it ends.

  15. “Second, the presence of McCoy risks a reprise of the Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn debacle of 2007-08.”


    This is what happens when you have guys in the media pontificating on things they have no experience with. Newsflash: Teams at all levels of football have multiple QB’s on the roster. These QB’s compete with each other for the purpose of getting on the field. It’s called competition. That is what sports are about. This also is of benefit to teams at all levels, because if the starter goes down then they would hope to have a competent backup to step in…..instead of a guy who sucks and was only kept around so as not to hurt the starter’s feelings or make him feel threatened.

    This is why media jobs and credentials should only be granted to former players. Articles like this are just mind boggling in their stupidity.

  16. Do you just want to pass Colt along as you’re afraid he might be a back-up??? What kind of logic is that?

    I wish we had Colt as a back up when Jason Campbell went down last year. Did you see what Kyle Boller did for us? It forced a cluster F… of draft picks being traded, throwing in a QB into the fray after 4 days with the team, 2 instant losses, yada yada. I’m not sure the Browns organization would have handled that situation much better.

    I like Colt McCoy. Born and bred to be a QB. Don’t be foolish by giving up on that kid. At least send him our way.

  17. Lots of speculation here about whether the Browns will trade, or keep, McCoy. To get the answer, just ask McCoy what he was told by Shurmur and Holgrem. If they promised him they will keep him then they will trade him right away. If they promised him they will trade him, then they will bury him on the depth chart. Simple.

  18. I agree that it’s a bad (long run) decision to keep McCoy. Although it doesn’t cost the Browns much financially to keep him, the way they blindsided him can potentially undermine what’s left of the locker room’s trust in the coaches and management. Starting off training camp with a QB controversy is also a bad idea.

    The problem is that the Browns are not going to just release McCoy, and they’re not going to get anything for him in a trade. His market value is not very high. His best feature is his low cap number.

  19. Brees and Rivers in San Diego… It worked out for both. Even if that isn’t the case wait till mid season to trade Colt McCoy to a team with a hurt starter. Didn’t the bengals get rid of a QB recently for a sweet deal? I think they did.

  20. These are grown men and football is a business.

    We do not worry about thier feelings, we do not worry about players taking sides in the locker room, and we don’t have to do what is best for Colt. We do what is best for the team.

    Keeping a young, salary friendly backup that knows the system is what is best for the team.

  21. I don’t quite get Florio’s logic on reason #1…. Look, if Holmgren was willing to take the risk on drafting Weeden with his first pick, then by default he did so believing Weeden can play better than McCoy, and further, if he doesn’t play better than McCoy, then Holmgren deserves whatever backlash Cleveland fans, er, “the mob,” have in store for him (and it won’t matter who the backup is at that point; the backlash will be the same).

    The upside to keeping McCoy — he’s young, capable, doesn’t cost a lot, knows the system, and could still evolve into a decent starter — far outweighs the downside of Florio’s “what if” scenario.

  22. Oops, better keep him awhile. Never know, browns could run Wheeden out in a year or two.

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