Huddle Up: Browns should stop dancing around Colt McCoy situation
Throughout the NFL’s lengthy offseason, “Huddle Up” will provide you with a quick take on an important story or development from around the league …
Here are my initial reactions to the report from ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi that the Browns would like to trade Colt McCoy:
1. No kidding.
2. Good luck.
Grossi reported, citing an NFL source, that the Browns did not want to “pile on” McCoy and release him after they took Brandon Weeden in the 2012 draft’s first round. That’s still the goal, apparently, and Cleveland “will not demand much in a trade.”
But Cleveland president Mike Holmgren also told Grossi this:
Holmgren said “right now” the plan is not to trade or release the third wheel.
“That’s not to say we might change something, but right now, no,” he said. “Right now, they are all practicing very hard. Our quarterback position is a strong position, in my opinion.
“Something might happen as we approach training camp or during the training camp season.”
The third QB in the mix here, in addition to Weeden and McCoy, is Seneca Wallace. The 31-year-old ex-Seahawk was traded to the Browns before the 2010 season, then signed a three-year deal last offseason.
He recently said that he “wouldn’t want to be the Browns’ No. 3 QB” and might request a trade in that circumstance. The Browns are more likely to unload McCoy.
He’s younger, first of all, at just 25 and with two years of experience — there may not be much of a perceived ceiling there, given how McCoy performed in 21 starts for Cleveland, but the book is definitely written on Wallace. McCoy might still be able to make a nice backup (say, in Green Bay?) while he tries to shake off his early-career struggles.
It would also be better in the grand scheme of things for Cleveland to purge itself of the whole McCoy mess. The Browns used a third-round pick on him in 2010, then rushed him into a starting role and had no real alternative when he bombed.
Which brings us around to this, though: Why does Cleveland feel like it owes McCoy anything?
Grossi brings this discussion up by raising the question, “Did McCoy get a fair shake last year?” And, sure, the team around him was pretty putrid, especially with a noncommittal Peyton Hillis in and out of the lineup. McCoy still had 13 starts to prove his worth to this franchise — he went 4-9 and was so underwhelming that the Weeden pick became a necessity.
Everyone can appreciate a team wanting to do right by its players, but you know what? McCoy would get over it if he was released, especially since it would give him the opportunity to talk to 31 other teams and find a role. He has been completely underwhelming as an NFL quarterback thus far, but some team, somewhere, would bring him on as a backup.
Now, if the Browns would prefer to hang onto him themselves, that’s another story entirely. Even though Cleveland appears set on giving Weeden the reins from Week 1, McCoy is three years younger than him, so it’s possible that at least one key person in the Browns organization believes McCoy can still turn a corner.
One way or another, though, Cleveland is headed toward unloading either McCoy or Wallace. Making that decision while trying to spare McCoy’s feelings is an unnecessary goal.