The Best Free-Agent Fit for the Browns

It's Josh McCown, and I don't think it's even close. He is a 34 year old veteran QB coming off by far his best season in the NFL. So why would he want to come to Cleveland? Because there are few opportunities in this league where he would be a week 1 starter. And in Cleveland, he would have a chance to lead a team to the playoffs in 2014.

To Blake Bortles fans, hey I love the guy, but it's hard to see Houston passing on him with pick one due to his NFL ready body, limitless ceiling, and the coaching connection to Central Florida. And if they do happen to pass, does anyone really think that after his solid combine that quarterback-desperate Jacksonville would let him get out of the Sunshine State. With each passing mock and professional analyst that I read, it seems a virtual lock that he will be picked in the top 3, and trading up for the guy is certainly risky given the asking price of at least both number one picks.

I believe Teddy Bridgewater has the chance to slip to pick 4 as I also believe is the case with Johnny Manziel. And in either situation I would say, "draft him." That would give the Browns a quarterback room(if they sign McCown) with a capable veteran leader who appears as calm and collected as he has ever been, a big-time 21 year old rookie prospect that would not be forced into action before he is ready, and Brian Hoyer.

To Brian Hoyer fans, I say, "let's think about this." Hoyer is 28. I've heard him called the Browns own version of McCown. But I think that's overstating it. He played 2 full games last year. That's the number 2. Not a full season. Not even half a season. And he couldn't even hold up for a full third game. Freak injury? Sure. But who really believes that he has a playoff caliber 17 or 18 game season in him? Maybe you do, but I disagree.

Hoyer was a solid back-up in New England and would most likely have been a solid back-up in Arizona had they not cut him. He gets tons of credit for his efforts in week 3 last year when the Browns held off the Vikings in Minnesota. But who was really the hero in that game? I think it was Josh Gordon who had 10 catches for 141 yards and went on to lead the NFL in receiving yards no matter who was throwing to him. The Vikings had no tape of Hoyer in the Browns offense to go on, yet they still picked off 3 of his second-half passes, held him to LESS THAN 6 yards per attempt, and allowed him a mere 55.6 completion percentage.

The following week against the Bengals, Hoyer was solid. He led the team to victory. He threw for 269 yards and 2 TD's. But does anyone remember that inactive for the Bengals were their 2 starting cornerbacks and a starting safety? Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Reggie Nelson all sat that one out, and Hoyer had the benefit of throwing versus a weak and depleted secondary.

My point is that Hoyer has not proven a thing. As a Brown's fan I'm rooting for him, but I'm also rooting for Ray Farmer to turn the Browns quarterback room into one of the most admired in the NFL in just one off-season, an unspeakably huge change from the way it's been for the past 15 years. McCown wants to play. Cleveland needs a quarterback and matter-of-factly has cap space. Farmer has a chance to take the pressure off of himself in the draft. So desperate for a winning QB right now is the city, it would be unforgivable of Farmer to pass on a Bridgewater or Manziel and watch them star for another team. And if he does draft one of them, they would carry the weight of having to be the franchise savior for this regime.

Let's see some respectable QB play in 2014 Browns fans. Join me on the "Sign McCown" bandwagon.

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