One of the most pressing questions facing the Cleveland Browns following the NFL Draft seems to be how to handle the new quarterback situation. More specifically, what should the Browns do with QB Colt McCoy?
Of course, the Browns face this question after selecting 28-year-old Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden with the No. 22 pick in the first round. With the addition of Weeden, the Browns currently have four quarterbacks, including McCoy, Seneca Wallace, and Thaddeus Lewis.
The initial reaction to the No. 22 pick was that the Browns would immediately look to trade McCoy, who struggled in his 13 starts last season before he suffered a concussion against the Steelers that sidelined him for the final three games. There was even a report that the Green Bay Packers might have been interested in trading for him.
No trade market for McCoy ever developed and the Browns are still left with the same question.
I've actually changed my opinion twice on this matter. At first I agreed with most others that the Browns should trade McCoy for whatever they can get and move on, avoiding the dreaded QB controversy. When the trade market failed to develop and with the reports that McCoy not only was open to competing with Weeden but also wouldn't request a trade, I quickly warmed up to the idea of having McCoy backup Weeden.
I thought with McCoy being the high character class act that he is, he would make for a fine backup quarterback, despite shortcomings as a starter. At the very least, I did think he was a better insurance policy than career backup Seneca Wallace, who turns 32 before the start of the season.
Other than being a career backup, Wallace is also known around here as "not a mentor." Or so he said last season. As it turns out, now that even his backup job is suddenly on the line, Wallace is interested in being that mentor. He was on WKRK FM/92.3 today:
"I know my job going into my 10th season of being in this offense is to prepare Brandon Weeden to get him right and make sure he's ready to go for day one,'' he said. "This is a different beast. This is a first-rounder that we drafted, 22nd overall and from a business standpoint you know and everybody else knows and outsiders know that this kid's got to play. My job as a veteran guy is to make sure he's ready to play.''
That, however, is not what made me change my mind for the second time about McCoy as a backup.
For a while I believed that any QB controversy could be limited to the fans alone. I thought if Shurmur declared his starter, obviously Weeden, at the beginning of training camp and stuck to it throughout the season regardless of any rookie struggles that merely fans clamoring for some backup shouldn't have any effect on football decisions.
After listening to some former NFL players, I learned that it could potentially have a very negative impact on the locker room. As frustrating as it is, that was a problem for the Browns last season. If they really want to turn this thing around and show a real improvement next season, they cannot have a divided locker room.
And a backup quarterback simply isn't worth it.
Trade him, cut him, or do whatever it is they have to do, but it's time to move on. Colt McCoy is still a class act, has been throughout his entire time in Cleveland, and in all likelihood will remain that way. If the team parts ways, as I think they should, I'll wish him the best.
But, now it's time for everyone in the Browns organization, coaches and players alike, to back Brandon Weeden fully.