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10 Reasons Why Colt McCoy May Never Play a Down for the Browns

Elliott PohnlFeatured Columnist IOctober 8, 2016

10 Reasons Why Colt McCoy May Never Play a Down for the Browns

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    Colt McCoy is on the verge of being released, according to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Could the third-round draft darling really never play for the Cleveland Browns?

    There is increasing speculation that McCoy's career might continue at another destination in the NFL or as a member of the Browns' practice squad.

    Publicly, the Browns have had nothing but praise for McCoy.  But according to the Plain Dealer report, the team has been very unimpressed by his play throughout training camp and the preseason.

    Here's a look at 10 reasons why Colt McCoy might never play a single down for the Browns.

No. 10: Poor Preseason Performance

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    Things haven't gone well for Colt McCoy in his first two games as a pro.  The struggles began with a dismal performance in Green Bay in the preseason opener, where he threw for just 25 yards and tossed two interceptions against the Packers' deep reserves.

    McCoy suffered as sprained thumb in the game, which limited his action in last weekend's game against the Rams.  All told, he has completed just 5-of-12 passes in the Browns' two games.

    The good news for McCoy is that the fourth quarterback on Cleveland's roster, Brett Ratliff, has also failed to distinguish himself in the preseason. 

No. 9: The Play Of Seneca Wallace and The Insurance Of Josh Cribbs

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    The Browns have been thrilled with the play of steady veteran Seneca Wallace and consider him to be a very capable backup to the injury-prone Jake Delhomme.

    Wallace, who also can play receiver, gained experience in his backup role with the Seahawks and is a nice fit for the Browns' short-passing attack.

    There will be no battle for No. 2 in Cleveland this season.

    At the same time, the Browns ultimately need to have at least three players capable of playing quarterback on the roster. 

    All-around talent Josh Cribbs could play quarterback in a pinch, and the Browns might be tempted to look for another veteran for insurance instead of an unproven rookie.

No. 8: Jake Delhomme Ready To Impress

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    When the Browns named Jake Delhomme as the starting quarterback, it came with a great deal of uncertainty.

    There were questions about Delhomme's health and it was difficult to say what exactly the 35 year-old had left.  He has shined in the preseason and assumed a leadership role for the Browns. 

    Any talk that Seneca Wallace might be vaulted into a starting role has clearly quieted down.

    Delhomme's health and sterling play, and Wallace's aforementioned steadiness means McCoy will be at best the third-string quarterback with little use to Eric Mangini's team this season, and perhaps beyond.

No. 7: Injuries Limit McCoy's Chances

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    When the Browns drafted Colt McCoy, Mike Holmgren made it known that is was unlikely the college star would see any time in the regular season.

    McCoy's only chance to impress will be in the preseason, but his sprained thumb has hindered his development and adversely effected his performance.

    If the Plain Dealer report is to be believed, McCoy needs to show something in the final two preseason games to make the 53-man roster.  It's hard to imagine him succeeding unless he is almost completely healthy.

No. 6: Just Not a Good Fit

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    The Browns have many shortcomings, and clearly need plenty of additional pieces to help climb out of the deep caverns of the NFL.

    Even the most optimistic of experts and fans must admit that McCoy's physical tools are limited.  That doesn't mean he won't make it in the NFL, but if he makes it he will need time to develop and plenty of talent around him.

    The Browns won't be expected to contend in the near future as they continue to build.  McCoy's best chance to thrive would likely be with any established organization where there are plenty of pieces already in place.

    His might need to leave Cleveland to succeed.

No. 5: Not Enough Long-term Upside

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    For as much publicity as McCoy and fellow rookie Tim Tebow get, their upside from a physical standpoint is very cloudy.

    McCoy has a much better throwing motion and touch than Tebow, but his lack of ideal size could be an issue.  Although his arm strength has surprised some, it is far from optimum.

    In the end, there might not be enough for anyone to work with.

No. 4: Too Much Money, Not Enough Impact

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    The Browns thought so highly of Colt McCoy that they fast-tracked his contract negotiations and put contract talks with No. 1 pick Joe Haden on the back burner.

    McCoy's contract slot could have allowed the Browns to sign him for as little as $3.275 million, but the team offered him a four-year deal worth $5 million. 

    Based on the chatter out of Cleveland, that's a lot of money for a third string quarterback in jeopardy of making the final roster.

    The Browns could back out of the contract at a fairly minimal cost; only $1.07 million of McCoy's deal is guaranteed money.

No. 3: Cleveland Has Other Needs

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    Several of the other players fighting for roster spots with the Browns could actually be more valuable than Colt McCoy.

    The most obvious is James Davis, the former Clemson running back who shined in the preseason to earn a roster spot last season.  The Browns were hopeful rookie Montario Hardesty would make an immediate impact, but he has been slowed by a knee problem in camp and has a long injury history.

    That could reserve a roster slot for Davis, who played in just two games in the regular season last year before his season ended with a shoulder injury.

No. 2: Would Colt McCoy Really Stay On The Browns Practice Squad?

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    Understanding exactly how exactly the NFL's practice squad rules work is a complicated task, but it can be done.

    If the Browns were to delegated McCoy to practice squad, he would have to clear waivers and would be eligible to negotiate a contract with any other NFL team.

    Despite his physical limitations, McCoy's pedigree as the most victorious college quarterback ever makes him a low-risk acquisition for an established franchise with a solid base of talent.

    If the Browns put him on the practice squad, he isn't likely to stay there for long.

No. 1: The Browns Need a Special Talent at Quarterback

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    Ultimately, the biggest reason McCoy might never play for the Browns is his upside.  A franchise is relative disarray needs a competent quarterback, but also a quarterback with potential to blossom into an All-Pro.

    McCoy not only raw at this point after running a simplistic system for four years at Texas, he also has limited upside to improve into anything beyond an average quarterback.

    Cleveland doesn't need another average quarterback in the mold of Jake Delhomme.  The Browns need a dynamic player under center to make rising to the ranks of the NFL's elite a realistic possibility.

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