Cleveland Browns: A Closer Look at the Colt McCoy Trade Rumors

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IJanuary 29, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 4: Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns scrambles under pressure during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ravens debated the Browns 24-10. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have become synonymous with inconsistent quarterback play over the last decade and the 2011 NFL season was no exception.

Colt McCoy entered last year's campaign with high expectations only to take a step back and potentially lose his starting job for 2012. The Browns have reportedly been flirting with the idea of placing McCoy on the trade market in order to acquire more draft picks or a better signal caller.

But, what could Cleveland really get for an inconsistent quarterback with a 6-15 overall record?

There are many teams entering the spring months with questions at quarterback. The Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Indianapolis Colts are the front runners who could be looking to upgrade the position this offseason. The Colts would likely be out of the trade market for quarterbacks because of their projected first overall draft pick of Andrew Luck.

That would leave three teams that could reasonably make a deal for McCoy before or during the NFL draft. However, the whole theory behind Cleveland trading their quarterback would be that they could actually improve their roster. Losing McCoy would create yet another hole on the offense and take away the player that spent the most time learning Pat Shurmur's offense last season.

Realistically, the Browns could not expect anything higher than a second- or early third-round draft pick for the services of McCoy. The Browns offense was simply too inconsistent under McCoy's quarterback play and the Browns rarely had success while he was starting under center. Cleveland would also have the option of trading McCoy for more players, but would not likely receive any type of star talent as compensation.

Cleveland has taken this road once before when they traded Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos after releasing Derek Anderson the previous week. The Browns received Peyton Hillis as compensation, but Hillis' run with the Browns has been rocky to say the least.

If the Browns were to trade McCoy for anything but another quarterback it would be likely that the team would look to select Robert Griffin III in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Cleveland would also have the option of signing a player like Matt Flynn in free agency despite Flynn's sporadic NFL experience.

Only the Browns' front office really knows Cleveland's plans for the spring and summer months. However, the speculation and criticism of the front office will likely continue much longer based on the type of franchise moves the team will make this season. McCoy is just one of many players who may be looking at a change of scenery for 2012 or may find themselves on the bench for a better option.