CLEVELAND – After signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown to a three-year $14 million contract on Friday, the Cleveland Browns and their front office failed at it’s job once again.
McCown, 35, was also in talks with the Buffalo Bills before deciding on Cleveland. His new contract—per ESPN’s Adam Schefter–includes a fully guaranteed salary of $6.25 million and $6 million in incentives.
With other notable free agent quarterbacks such as Jake Locker, Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez and their own Brian Hoyer on the market, the signing of McCown signals the end of Hoyer’s brief two-year stint with his hometown team, and the likelihood that beleaguered hotshot quarterback Johnny Manziel could realistically go into the 2015-16 season as the starter.
While signing a veteran journeyman such as McCown is nothing more than the Browns front office pulling a Jake Delhomme 2.0–and providing a glorified caretaker under center till Manziel inevitably becomes the face of the franchise, McCown will provide some leadership in the locker room. In this writer’s opinion, the Browns should have tried to re-sign Hoyer at a bargain price, as he is not only younger at 29, but–sadly–he is also the best QB that Cleveland has had since returning to the league in 1999 with a record of 10-6.
Couple that with McCown’s dismal 1-10 record as a starter down in Tampa with more talented weapons on offense in Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin and rookie Mike Evans, and the Browns sign this guy? Really?
How this is another front office failure in Cleveland is that in addition to current general manager Ray Farmer being at the center of the NFL’s on-going investigation into “TextGate’, inability to—likely—retain Hoyer, and failing to do their due diligence into the many red flags of Manziel—both on and off the field, and Cleveland will now see it’s 22nd different starting QB in their new dapper “cutting-edge” uniforms while rocking that “new” logo of theirs.
Unless McCown magically morphs into his former Chicago Bear 2013 self in which he went completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and one interception, Manziel shows some real on-the-field potential and off-the-field maturity and the Browns hit proverbial home runs in the 2015 NFL Draft, then Browns fans are in for a rude awakening—and a very long 2015-16 season.
Then again, wishful thinking is the only form of acceptable “winning” that Cleveland knows of.