Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do not lower the bar

The Browns can’t be serious about wanting to sign free agent Methuselah quarterback Josh McCown.

They can do better than that. A lot better.

If they sign him, they can expect the kind of seasons journeymen Trent Dilfer and Jake Delhomme gave them in 2005 and 2010. Both were signed as free agents.

Dilfer was 4-7 in 11 starts and quickly disappeared. Delhomme started four games before getting hurt – he was 2-2 – before he, too quickly disappeared. In their prime, they were decent. But when they arrived in Cleveland, they were sliding badly.

Why do the Browns insist on signing veteran quarterbacks clearly on the downside of their careers? Making such moves defines them for what they are: a bad football team.

What value does McCown bring to Cleveland? Mentoring Johnny Manziel or Connor Shaw or whomever they draft in April? McCown, who will be 36 in July, doesn’t want to mentor kids. He wants to play.

The Buffalo Bills, who are trying to sign him, are a much better fit. First of all, they’ve got better wide receivers, running backs and a decent offensive line. Hopefully, they are dumb enough to outbid Cleveland.

McCown clearly defines the term journeyman. Drafted by Arizona in 2002, he has made stops in Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, Chicago and Tampa. That’s six cities in his dozen National Football League seasons.

He has started 49 games and won 17, including a 1-10 mark last season, guiding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the top pick in the NFL’s college draft in April.

He attracted attention in 2013 when he took over for the injured Jay Cutler in Chicago and won three of his five starts with the Bears, throwing for 13 touchdowns and only one interception. It got him a nice free-agent contract with the Buccaneers.

Hopefully, the Browns don’t make the same mistake the Bucs did and spend their quarterback money elsewhere. If McCown somehow winds up wearing the Seal Brown and Very Bright Orange this season, get ready for the same old, same old.

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