Browns should move McCoy ASAP


If the Browns plan to give the Hatfield treatment to Colt McCoy, the sooner they pull the trigger, the better.

It’s an issue that lingers because, two months after using the 22nd overall pick in the draft on quarterback Brandon Weeden, the Browns have not traded nor released 2010 third-round pick Colt McCoy, whose performance as the starting quarterback directly resulted in the Browns using a first-round pick on a 28-year-old former baseball player.

And I’m specifically making the point now (and again) that the Browns should move McCoy sooner rather than later because Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently argued (as pointed out by Alper in the one-liners) that the Browns shouldn’t hurry to get McCoy off the roster, primarily since keeping him for a couple of exhibition games could maximize his value.

The problem is that, by keeping McCoy for too long, the Browns may inadvertently maximize his standing among the fans and the local media, sparking claims that maybe he should be the primary backup to Weeden — or that maybe McCoy should still be the starter.

While most of the names have changed since 2007, the Browns desperately need to avoid any situation in which McCoy would be playing and Weeden would be watching.  When Derek Anderson got the nod five years ago after Charlie Frye (another former third-round pick) was traded after a disastrous Week One showing against the Steelers, Anderson felt zero pressure because everyone assumed he was holding the spot until first-rounder Brady Quinn was ready to play.  And then Anderson, who wasn’t forced to look over his shoulder and could relax and play football without obsessing over whether the next incompletion would be his last one, played very well.

By 2008, Anderson was the starter.  And then he had something to lose.  And lose it he did.  And Quinn could never find it, not with Anderson still looming.

Given that history, who cares whether the Browns get anything for McCoy?  The better plan is to get the most out of Weeden, and that won’t happen if McCoy somehow ends up on the field once the regular season starts or, perhaps even worse, hovering over Weeden’s shoulder if/when he struggles to take advantage of all the attention that opposing defenses are paying to running back Trent Richardson.

So grab the Band-Aid, Big Show, and rip it off.  One motion.  It may hurt in the short term to get peanuts for a third-round pick, but it’ll hurt a lot worse over the long haul if keeping McCoy for too long prevents Weeden from developing into the long-term answer at the position.

34 responses to “Browns should move McCoy ASAP

  1. It’s absurd to think that it’s a bad thing if he does well in the preseason.

    If Weeden is as good as they think he is, the fans will forget about trading McCoy for some good picks halfway through the season.

    If Weeden isn’t that good, maybe they should just keep McCoy.

  2. Good article, Mr. Florio! And dead on, too.

    I would take it one step further, and suggest dumping Seneca Wallace, as well…in favor of a pocket-passer, rather than a scrambler. Someone with similar characteristics to Brandon Weeden. AJ Feeley comes to mind.

  3. The Browns should trade him for the strategic reasons mentioned above.

    BUT…. they need to trade him to a team that (unlike this joke of a franchise along the Erie) has a solid history of winning, great coaching, and a positive vibe. It would be a good way to say “we’re sorry” for LYING to him repeatedly before the draft and for the way they mis-handled his concussion against the Steelers.

    The Packers seem to the right team for him. They need a back up and he needs to see what playing for a first class NFL organization feels like.

  4. Just because it was the same team, you can’t draw comparisons to the Derek Anderson situation. And it’s a pretty big reach to say Derek Anderson struggled because he had the pressure of Quinn behind him. He struggled because he actually wasnt very good and he just overachieved for 1 season.

  5. Anderson and the Browns did well in 2007 because they had a cream puff schedule. They did poorly in 2008 because they didn’t. Anderson “success” since 2007 should be proof enough of that.

  6. I agree because he’s not a man like Weeden!!!

    He’s a boy!!!

    He’s underdeveloped and not demonstrative enough to lead a football team.

    Mike Holmgren, Pat Shurmur let the big boys play!

  7. I understand the point here and it has some validity, but there are other sides to the issue, too. First, QBs get hurt, so if Weeden gets hurt, I think it makes more sense to have McCoy around as a backup, instead of (yuk) Seneca Wallace. Second, any QB who is so sensitive that he’s unable to perform if he’s got real competition on the roster is a QB that I wouldn’t want on my team. Can you imagine Manning or Brady being unable to function because there’s a backup on the roster who can walk and chew gum? An NFL starter needs to have a little more self-confidence than that. If Weeden is really a starting-quality QB, he’ll prove it whether McCoy is around or not.

  8. @schmokes and east96st:
    You’re both right about Anderson. And let me add that Anderson didn’t really even have one full season of excellence; it was more like half of a season, or two-thirds of a season. By the last few games of 2007, opposing defenses had gotten enough tape on Anderson to understand what he could do (throw the deep ball) and what he couldn’t do (basically, everything else). So they redeployed their troops to take away the deep ball, and he hasn’t done anything since.

  9. This is exactly what the broncos did with Tebow. They knew their idiot fans would be booing and start chanting for Tebow the 1st bad game Manning has, which would likely be game one.

  10. There is no reason to get rid of McCoy unless an attactive trade offer comes through, and maybe not even then. He is demonstrably better than Wallace, and much, much cheaper. Keeping McCoy is a no-brainer unless the Browns can get something for him.

    This one isn’t even close…a 2012 $3.066 million cap number for Wallace vs. $677K for McCoy. Wallace’s contract is so over-market that he should be released on principle alone.

    Also consider that Weeden’s success in the NFL is not a guarantee. He hasn’t played one down of football yet. There are some major questions about his play at the college level, so to think he is absolutely going to be the Brown’s long-term answer at QB is a stretch. Let’s see it plays out, but keeping McCoy makes financial sense.

  11. Great. Way to start off my week with one of the theories that drives me absolutely crazy- the idea that QB’s are some sort of delicate flower that can’t fully bloom until they are out from under the horrible burden of competition.

    A professional should expect, assume, and welcome competition! Keeping McCoy shouldn’t prevent Weeden from developing into the long-term answer at the position, it should be one of the reasons he DOES.

    And your analogy makes the opposite point you are trying to make. You are basically saying Anderson played BETTER when he had someone breathing down his neck that could take his job. And that’s the way it should be.

    For God’s sake, the year the Cowboys drafted Troy Aikman, they drafted another QB (Steve Walsh) in the FIRST ROUND of the supplemental draft! Somehow, Aikman survived this terrible burden.

    If a QB is going to be great, he’s going to be great. If he’s not, he’s not. Period.

  12. McCoy never had a chance b/c the Browns have no OFF talent around him. He has never had a fighting chance to succeed.
    I feel bad for the guy and if he is traded he should go to a place like Houston where he could get better coaching and have better talent around him.

  13. Sorry but you are wrong. Support for Colt is low. Very low. We would be happy for him to be the backup but pretty much anything is better than him.

  14. It doesn’t matter. They still will be last in the AFC North regardless of who’s at qb.

  15. “McCoy never had a chance b/c the Browns have no OFF talent around him. He has never had a fighting chance to succeed.”

    McCoy never had a chance b/c he doesn’t have the skill set to be a starting NFL QB and teams knew this in 2010 which is why he dropped to the end of the 3rd round (and probably would’ve dropped further if not for his name) just like they know it now which is why no one will offer diddly-poo for the guy.

    It’s not like any of those other QB’s that sucked in Cleveland went elsewhere and had any success whatsoever. Colt’s just another of a long line of personnel errors at the QB position.

  16. As a Texan, I think we should give him a look. Send a 5th or 6th for him. He’s clearly better than all out backups.

  17. If Weeden can play, there won’t be a fan revolt even if they decided to keep McCoy as the backup. If Weeden can’t play, the problem will be the same no matter who the backup is.

    And the double standard regarding QBs in the NFL is just crazy. Plenty of colleges have QBs split time with no harm being done, but that’s unthinkable in the pros. They’re so scared of hurting the starter’s psyche they’ll risk his health playing him to the last snap of blowouts rather than put the backup in. Now, even third-round picks who have struggled absolutely MUST be traded away for fear the new guy’s development will be stunted? Funny how guys at every other position have to just suck it and earn their playing time.

  18. No sense in releasing McCoy for nothing. He’s still young and a solid character guy, and can develop into a quality backup NFL QB. 2% of our fanbase might be clamouring for McCoy to start over Weeden…The other 98% of us actually watched him over the past 1.5 years and know better. McCoy needs an elite running game to be at a level where he can manage a game, he’s not going to win any games by himself, just doesn’t have the physical tools, and clearly won’t make anyone around him better. Colt’s ceiling just isn’t very high at this point. I’m sure they’d consider any trade offer at this point, but it’s obvious why he hasn’t been moved yet…the phone isn’t ringing, might as well hang onto him. Sorry, no QB controversy here.

  19. Nothing would say “Cleveland Browns” like dumping off their most competent/proven starting QB for peanuts.

  20. It doesn’t even matter , McCoy will never play another meaningful down for the browns.

  21. Is this the only example of a player being motivated or de-motivated by his backup or lack-there-of that you can think of?

    Someone that doesn’t react to pressure is not what you want anyway. Someone that can’t handle a threat to their job or W is the polar opposite of a QB.

    How about in San Diego where Brees needed that threat in order to hit his potential or maybe we’re both basing this on a ridiculously small sample size, of which can’t be used to base the decision of McCoy on.

    Staff needs to work both of them and see who responds to the pressure. My guess is Weeden will at the expense of MCoy which is what most seem to believe. If the staff thinks it’s best to keep McCoy for Weeden’s sake then do it. If keeping him will hurt Weeden then Weeden wasn’t the right choice.

  22. Yes. Trade the 25 year-old with experience so the 29 year-old can get experience.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your Cleveland Browns!!

  23. Let them both compete for the job and let the best man win. Good qb competition is what they need. Just hand over the offense to Weeden??? thats nuts.

  24. I think a change of scenery would do Colt a world of good.We’ll take him here in Philly if the fat man and Mortimer can’t turn him around no 1 can..So Vince Young your washed up

  25. As a Sooner, I can say that Weeden has what it takes in the NFL. He had perhaps one bad game (Iowa State) in 2 years after the Basketball coach’s death in a plane crash when the whole team stunk. He can throw a great long ball and hard sideline out and had an efficient slant over the middle season. The Pokes had 2 really fine quality receivers to help him, but he was the catalyst and leader. Do I know if he will be great? No, just don’t know, but he should be really good. If he has a running game like the Cowboys had, he could really be efficient. Have confidence, Browns fans, things should be better.

  26. Yeah, Cam Newton really had trouble with Jimmy Clausen looking over his shoulder………this is the same situation that Carolina had last year, the former young, incumbent QB demoted to a backup. It happens all the time…..Bottom line is that McCoy has more value than Wallace, has more upside than Wallace and is cap friendly. If Weeden goes down with a season ending injury, fans could take McCoy but would never be able to stomach Wallace as the starter for the remainder of the season…the stadium would be empty.

  27. There is no reason to give away McCoy. The Browns need a backup — who is better to be the Browns backup than McCoy? No one.

    Besides, it’ll be four more years before McCoy is as old as Weeden is now. A lot can happen in four years. In the NFL, a lot can happen in one Sunday. I’d keep the QB who knows the offense best as the backup. Then let Weeden start. If Weeden goes down, the Browns have McCoy. If Weeden’s no good, the Browns fans will call for the backup regardless of whether its McCoy, Wallace, or someone else.

  28. Let’s see, the Browns led the league in dropped passes. Their offensive line was like a sieve on the right side. In addition, they were playing with a third string running back. If anybody things that Weeden would have succeeded under those circumstances they ought to drug tested.

  29. This is a little late but why should the Browns move him? If they bring someone else in, they have to learn the system. Colt knows it. He won’t start anywhere else and if Weeden struggles, who would the Browns want to come in. Don’t give me the confidence nonsense with the QB position either. They are grown men. McCoy is the best backup for the Browns. Leave it alone.

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