The arrival of Jason Campbell on Tuesday all but guarantees the end of Colt McCoy’s days in Cleveland.
But the Browns have no immediate plans to release him, according to multiple NFL.com reports. A trade is possible.
CEO Joe Banner confirmed the reports and the team’s intentions this morning during an interview on WKNR 850-AM.
The plan simply makes sense.
McCoy lost his starting job to rookie Brandon Weeden last season, and Weeden is slated to get a second season as the starter. Campbell will provide a veteran presence and competition for Weeden.
McCoy is the odd man out. He doesn’t have the strong arm desired for new coordinator Norv Turner’s system, doesn’t want to be the third-stringer and is scheduled to make $2.325 million — too much for a third quarterback.
The issue for the Browns will be finding a team willing to trade a low-round draft pick for McCoy when the likelihood is he will eventually be released. The Browns must hope two teams show interest or one feels a sense of urgency to get McCoy in the fold.
The Browns could wait until after the draft for resolution.
McCoy has started 21 of 24 games with a 6-15 record. He’s completed 58 percent for 4,388 yards, 6.3 yards per attempt, 21 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and a 74.8 rating.
He seems best suited for a West Coast system that relies on short passes and timing. He wants to start, but will have to go somewhere as a backup first.
The departure of McCoy would be the latest in a long line of Browns quarterbacks who arrived with great hope — and sometimes potential — but left with too many losses, hurt feelings and unfulfilled promise.
McCoy was a third-round pick in 2010 after winning 45 games at the University of Texas, at the time an NCAA record. He’s the only quarterback to win 10 or more games in each of his four college seasons, and his 70.33 career completion percentage ranks second in NCAA history.
McCoy was expected to sit on the bench as a rookie and learn, but was pressed into action when veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace suffered high ankle sprains.
McCoy started eight games, going 2-6 with wins over New Orleans and New England. He threw six touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 74.5 rating.
Coach Eric Mangini was fired after the season and Pat Shurmur hired. McCoy remained the starter for 2011, going 4-9 with 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 74.6 rating. He missed the final three games after suffering a concussion following a hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
McCoy saw action in three games last season, going 9-for-17 for 79 yards and a touchdown. He injured his shoulder in Week 16 vs. the Broncos in relief of an injured Weeden and was unable to play in the finale.
“Colt has been here, has won games, has some unique abilities himself that I’m excited about,” new coach Rob Chudzinski said last month at the scouting combine.
** Left guard Jason Pinkston said he got good news Tuesday after missing the final 10 games of the 2012 season with a blood clot in his lung.
“Great news today from the doctor blood clot in my right leg Is 100% clear & gone!!” he tweeted. “Next up meeting with a specialist April 4th have more updates then appreciate all the support.”
Pinkston still must be cleared to return to play. Chudzinski said at the combine it would be awhile before the team knew his status.