Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara
February 25, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) Veteran free-agent quarterback Josh McCown spent a second day with the Browns, who could keep him around on a more permanent basis.

McCown, released last week by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was at the Browns' facility on Wednesday, a person familiar with the visit told The Associated Press. McCown arrived on Tuesday to speak with the QB-deficient Browns, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not revealing plans during its quarterback search.

The 35-year-old McCown could be the next option for a team that has spent the past 15 years looking for a passer to return them to prominence. Cleveland has gone through 22 different starters since 1999.

The Browns have made finding a starting quarterback a priority this offseason. They aren't sure if Brian Hoyer, who started 13 games last season and is eligible for free agency , wants to return; Johnny Manziel entered rehab last month and Connor Shaw isn't ready to be a starter after playing in just one game last season.

At last week's NFL combine in Indianapolis, coach Mike Pettine made it clear the Browns will venture into free agency and look in the draft for their starter. They haven't moved on from Hoyer or given up on Manziel, but the team is exploring every option.

McCown, who went 1-10 as a starter last season, may not be much of an upgrade, but he could serve as a temporary fill-in if Hoyer leaves, be a mentor to Manziel or help groom a rookie for the job.

McCown has also visited with Buffalo, Chicago and the New York Jets. He became expendable to the Bucs, who own the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft and have their eyes on Florida State standout Jameis Winston. McCown does have some history with new Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. The two worked together with Oakland in 2007. DeFilippo was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach and McCown went 2-7 as a starter.

McCown's younger brother, Luke, was drafted by the Browns in 2004.

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