NFL Free Agent Rumors: Cleveland Browns Are Smart to Stick with Colt McCoy

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 01:  Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers flips on his back after being hit against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Once the Cleveland Browns missed out on the opportunity to trade up for Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck in the draft, and while they are more than a long shot to sign Peyton Manning, it makes more sense for the Browns to build around Colt McCoy for the long-term health of the offense opposed to investing in another unproven quarterback.

Outside of Luck, RGIII and Manning, the team's other options have been—and remain, in some cases—Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Matt Flynn.

Tannehill and Weeden are potential draft picks who are not considered dead certainties like Luck and Griffin. Nothing is guaranteed with either of them despite the fact that they have a lot of talent obviously. Investing a high draft pick in either of those players wouldn't be the safest way of finding a franchise quarterback.

Orton and Campbell are proven veterans but won't ever be the franchise leader that the Browns are looking for.

Flynn has a lot of hype surrounding him as he leaves the Green Bay Packers holding the franchise record for yards in a game. However, past that Flynn has proved very little in the NFL. He has started two games, and while he did look very good in both games, he doesn't have any sort of longevity to stand by.

Whoever signs Flynn will have to pay him a big deal when he is essentially a rookie quarterback. Also noteworthy is the fact that Flynn's two starts came in very talented offenses against defenses with question marks over their performances opposed to their reputations.

While he may be more talented, Flynn's chances of actually being a franchise quarterback aren't that much greater than McCoy's.

Had he been playing in the Browns offense, and started as many games as McCoy, would Flynn really have played to a greater level? While quarterbacks can improve the players around them, their own level of play can be hindered by the talent, or lack thereof, around them also.

The fact that McCoy has played more games than Flynn shouldn't be a knock on him. Even Matt Cassell, after playing a season in New England, showed more issues in Kansas City the longer that he was the Chiefs' starter. More often than not, players who impress in the short term reveal more flaws than strengths the longer that they play the game.

Judging by Flynn's first two performances alone, he is a star quarterback. But just like one moment doesn't make a career, just look at where Santonio Holmes is now after that catch in the Super Bowl. Two starts don't make someone a starter.

Unlike teams in the past, the Browns also aren't a quarterback away from being competitive. Bringing in a Flynn, Tannehill or Weeden won't solve all of the team's issues.

Instead of overpaying for the second-best or worse quarterbacks available this year, why not continue to build the weapons on offense, or add to an emerging defense, in preparation for taking a quarterback in the future?

Would Browns fans be okay with giving McCoy one more season if it meant selling out for Matt Barkley next year?

Wasn't Barkley considered to be on Luck and Griffin's level prior to deciding to go back to USC? How much better off would the Browns be with, say, Trent Richardson, Kendall Wright, Mario Manningham and Matt Barkley opposed to having Richardson, Wright and Flynn then still having to search for a new quarterback next year?

Barkley isn't a guarantee either. In fact, the chances of the Browns landing him aren't even that great, but aggressive moves to land him opposed to those available this year make a lot more sense to me at the very least.

Rebuilding is a process, at times a very long process, but if done right franchises can vault themselves from the bottom to the top pretty quickly.