Quick Thoughts: Cleveland Browns Sign Josh McCown


Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Green Bay Packers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McCown signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns Feb. 27, which means the 35-year old journeyman is now the front runner to start the season. He would be the 23rd different quarterback to start a game for Cleveland in the expansion era.

• It’s hard to get excited about McCown, as he was 1-10 with the Buccaneers last season. He’s stats are the definition of mediocre. He owns a 58.8 percent completion percentage with 61 touchdowns against 59 interceptions. His career passer rating is 76.1.

• To McCown’s credit, he created a market for himself last winter after doing a stellar job filling in for Jay Cutler with the Chicago Bears during the 2013 season. During that campaign, McCown started five games and went 3-2. Overall, he appeared in eight games and completed a career best 66.5 percent of his passes, with 13 touchdowns vs. one interception.  If you’ll recall, his play actually stirred a debate over whether he should replace Cutler as the full-time starter.

• An old ESPN article from last March quoted the Bears front office–describing McCown as a “glue guy” in the locker room. This indicates the Browns view him as someone who can mentor the team’s  younger quarterbacks while providing leadership among all his teammates.

• The history McCown has with new coordinator John DeFilippo had to play a factor in his signing. DeFilippo has never called plays in the NFL, and it makes sense that he would be more comfortable with someone who’s shared in his NFL schooling. When DeFillippo was McCown’s quarterbacks coach with the Oakland Raiders in 2007, McCown went 2-7.

• According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the Browns called Brian Hoyer and made him aware that they were moving forward with McCown’s signing. Caplan described it as a “classy” move and I suppose it is, but it’s disappointing to read that GM Ray Farmer never gave Hoyer a face-to-face interview this offseason. Now, it’s obvious why. Hoyer wasn’t Farmer’s, or the Browns’ top priority.

• Caplan added that when the Browns notified Hoyer of McCown’s signing, they made it clear to the veteran quarterback that they weren’t closing the door on potentially signing him, too. Considering the Browns’ quarterback room is murky, with Manziel still in rehab, and Connor Shaw, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cleveland sign another quarterback.

With that said, it won’t be Hoyer. He believes he can’t start in this league. Heck, he was 10-6 during his time in Cleveland–the best record a quarterback’s had since 1999.

• So quarterbacks on the Browns roster include McCown, Manziel and Shaw. The depth isn’t great, which indicates the team may not give up on acquiring another quarterback. At the very least, it would be a shock if the Browns didn’t draft a development quarterback prospect in this spring’s NFL Draft.

• Yes, Josh is the older brother of former Brown Luke McCown. So not only is the Browns quarterback tree getting longer, but it’s actually becoming a family tree.

What do you expect from Josh McCown this season?

Next: MMQB's Peter King Thinks Browns Could Trade Up For Amari Cooper

More from Factory of Sadness