Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy still in Browns plans amidst Alex Smith rumor
INDIANAPOLIS — New Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said he’s “excited” about quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy, deeming that he would hold an open competition for the starting job. However, he would not explicitly rule out the possibility that the Browns pursue some changes at that position.
Chudzinski’s combine press conference took place shortly after an ESPN report surfaced linking the Browns to 49ers backup QBs Alex Smith. The 49ers are looking to move Smith and his $8.5 million cap hit, with Colin Kaepernick entrenched as their starting QB. The Browns could be a natural fit, with a new coaching staff in place and Weeden coming off an up-and-down rookie season.
Worth noting in any trade talks involving the Browns: Cleveland does not have a second-round pick after using it in the supplemental draft on Josh Gordon.
The Browns have the sixth overall pick in Round 1 — they might have their pick of quarterbacks there, but using a second consecutive first-round selection on a QB might be a bit too much for them. Plus, as Chudzisnki admitted Friday, he’s yet to do any real work scouting this year’s quarterback prospects.
“I haven’t really had a chance,” Chudzinski said, while noting that he’s been working to fill the Browns’ staff and implement the team’s plans for the offseason.
Chudzinski did praise the hire of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who will be tasked with turning one of the Browns’ QBs — McCoy, Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis or a fourth, as-yet-unknown option — into a reliable starter.
“You’re talking about one of the greatest play-callers in NFL history,” said Chudzinski of Turner; Turner will call all of the Browns’ plays. “I’m really excited about Norv being part of the staff.”
If not for his age (29), Weeden would have to be considered the favorite to win the Browns’ starting job, if another quarterback is not added to the mix. He finished 5-10 as a starter last season, with 3,385 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. McCoy threw just 17 passes in 2012, but he’s only 26 and has a manageable $2.325 million salary due next season.