October 25, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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Browns trade QB Colt McCoy to 49ers, pick up late draft pick

Quarterback Colt McCoy started Monday at Browns headquarters as the team opened its voluntary offseason program.

McCoy

He ended it as a member of the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

The Browns sent McCoy and a sixth-round pick in April’s draft to the 49ers in exchange for fifth- and seventh-rounders. The Browns gave up pick No. 173 and received Nos. 164 and 227, so they got a seventh-rounder and moved up nine spots for a backup quarterback they didn’t intend to keep.

The Browns didn’t announce the picks involved in the deal, but a source revealed them.

McCoy, who’s 6-15 as a starter, was expendable after the Browns signed Jason Campbell last week to back up and push starter Brandon Weeden. CEO Joe Banner had said the team was in no hurry to part with McCoy but would listen to trade offers.

The 49ers had draft picks to spare and are looking for a backup to Colin Kaepernick after trading Alex Smith to the Chiefs last month. McCoy joins Scott Tolzien behind Kaepernick on the depth chart, and should be more comfortable in San Francisco’s West Coast system.

The Browns now have seven draft picks — none in the second round and two in the fifth.

A lot of Browns fans will be rooting for San Francisco. McCoy had a loud and loyal group of followers, and will be joining kicker Phil Dawson, who left as a free agent after 14 years in Cleveland.

McCoy (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) wasn’t a fit with the offense of new coach Rob Chudzinski and coordinator Norv Turner that began to be taught Monday. He lacks the arm strength to excel in the system that relies on downfield throws.

McCoy, 26, was a third-round pick by the former Cleveland regime of president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert in 2010 after an outstanding career at the University of Texas. He was supposed to sit and learn as a rookie, but high ankle sprains to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace pressed McCoy into service.

He held his own in a loss at Pittsburgh in his debut, then beat the Super Bowl champion Saints and New England Patriots. But the momentum was short-lived, as he missed three games with a high ankle sprain while losing his final five.

McCoy spent most of 2011 as the starter, but went 4-9 and never impressed new coach Pat Shurmur. McCoy missed the last three games with a concussion after a nasty hit by Pittsburgh’s James Harrison.

The drafting of Weeden in the first round in 2012 shoved McCoy to the bench, and he threw only 17 passes during the season. He replaced an injured Weeden in Week 16, but suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from starting the finale.

McCoy completed 409 of 702 career passes (58 percent) with 21 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and a 74.8 rating.

The Browns could add a quarterback through the draft — possibly as high as No. 6 overall, but more likely in the middle or late rounds. Arizona’s Brian Hoyer, a St. Ignatius graduate, has also been mentioned as a possibility in Cleveland if the Cardinals decide to move him or dump him.

Thaddeus Lewis is the third quarterback on the roster after Weeden and Campbell.

“Just heard 12 will be leaving Cle,” running back Chris Ogbonnaya tweeted. “Been a great teammate and even better friend for years now. Best of luck in San Fran.”

Second-year receiver Josh Gordon will likely switch from No. 13 to 12. He had the number in high school and college and has “12” tattooed on his back.

The offseason program began with weight-lifting, conditioning and meetings. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, 61 of 63 players on the roster attended, and the two missed for personal reasons. Weeden’s attendance was confirmed by a source.

“It was great to see the guys as a group for the first time. I was extremely pleased with the turnout — we had more than 60 players participate,” Chudzinski said in a statement released by the team. “I believe that the program Brad (Roll) and our strength staff has devised will greatly benefit our players.

“These next two weeks will be an opportunity for the players to get acclimated to our offseason program, spend some time getting to know each other and also to have some meeting time with their position coaches before having our first organized on-field work on April 16.”

The first minicamp is April 16-18.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.