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Cleveland Browns: Value at Quaterback and Why Colt McCoy Is Worth Keeping

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Brian StepanekCorrespondent IIMay 29, 2012

"That's kinda like my old man told me one time, Lynn. The only thing better than a crawfish dinner, is five crawfish dinners."—Coach Red Beaulieu, The Waterboy (1998)

 Colt McCoy will not compete for the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback job in the eyes of the organization—not yet, anyway.

Despite flimsy overtures to legitimate competition reported by the Plain Dealer, a team simply doesn't draft a quarterback at 22nd overall to sit the bench. At 28 years old, to draft Brandon Weeden that high and sit him would utterly fail to accomplish what that pick symbolizes: to abjectly change the face of the Browns franchise.

But the Browns shouldn't check McCoy's trade value yet, either.

The Cleveland Browns' notorious quarterback struggles arguably led to the hiring of team president Mike Holmgren, an avowed guru of the position. Weeden's selection has Holmgren's fingerprints all over it, and he has put his chips on the cannon-armed OSU Cowboy.

McCoy's stat line and resilience—it's a wonder it took him as long as it did to suffer a concussion—may not demand a continued experimentation at the starting role, but it does reveal that the former third-round pick can be quite useful in a pinch.

With Seneca Wallace due to receive $6 million over the next two seasons, reports the veteran backup recently declared his openness to "mentoring" Weeden, as opposed to his open hostility toward McCoy as the starter.

Wallace enjoys a solid reputation around the league, and the Browns could get a veteran defensive tackle, for instance, from a team looking for a reliable change-of-pace backup.

Should the Browns shop McCoy, they will very unlikely find as much in return as they would in the case of Wallace.

In the event Weeden suffers an injury or fails to pan out, the Browns should also much prefer a younger, cheaper, still-malleable McCoy to the expensive and older Wallace. Developmentally, they could still see McCoy improve, where Wallace has hit his professional ceiling at 32 years old this season.

Though Wallace has played well given the opportunity, his occasional public criticisms of the organization really don't befit the role of a career backup.

The Browns will look very, very different with Weeden under center, Richardson behind him and Mitchell Schwartz blocking, and they will almost certainly hit opening day with a new confidence.

This being Cleveland, though, always good to think about plan B...


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