February 27, 2015

The Cleveland Browns have moved from one stopgap solution at quarterback to another with their Friday signing of 35-year-old Josh McCown to a three-year deal.

Presumably, McCown will fill the role held last season by Brian Hoyer -- de facto starter until a time when Johnny Manziel (or another TBD young quarterback) is ready to take over the job. McCown could be a valuable resource for Manziel, if nothing else.

[daily_cut.nfl]

Beyond that, though, the book is more or less out on McCown. He parlayed a strong 2013 season in Chicago into a contract with Tampa Bay last year. Lovie Smith handed him the starting job early, but injury and inconsistent play marred McCown's year. He finished 1-10 as a starter with a 56.3 percent completion rate, 11 touchdowns and 14 picks.

Hoyer was a fan favorite in Cleveland, at least for a spell as he sparked the Browns to playoff contention. It all fell apart down the stretch, though, as the Browns finished 7-9.

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Worse yet, Manziel entered rehab of his own accord this off-season, adding further mystery to his future.

So, McCown, again, finds himself as a safety net, albeit one with minimal upside. If Cleveland has any hopes of competing for a postseason spot soon, it will have to upgrade, be it via Manziel or otherwise.

GRADE: C-minus

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