McCoy (reportedly) up for trade


AP Photo/Mark Duncan

This might be the most Cleveland Browns thing the Cleveland Browns have ever done.

Just days after team president Mike Holmgren assured the media the team would not be moving any of their quarterbacks before training camp, reports surfaced this morning that the Browns have placed quarterback Colt McCoy on the trading block. The signal-caller that was drafted in 2010 to be the future of their franchise might be wearing a different uniform in 2012.

“I think (Colt’s) a wonderful young man, and a good football player,” Holmgren told NFL.com. “And if you are asking me to say was it fair last year? He had a tough go and he didn’t get as much help as I thought he was going to get. But heck, that’s football.”

Let’s call a spade a spade — McCoy was set up to fail, as every Browns quarterback has since the franchise reappeared in Cleveland. They’re finally building an offense, which is bound to happen when you have an offensive mastermind like Holmgren calling the shots. But it didn’t help McCoy’s case when running back Peyton Hillis had a distracted, awful season in the backfield. When Hillis missed games, the Browns turned to Montario Hardesty to run the ball.

I’ll say that again: Montario Hardesty.

So when Cleveland had a rushing game ranked No. 28 out of 32 teams, McCoy tried to put the offense on his back and pass his way out of the mess. He did pretty well, throwing for 2,733 yards before getting knocked out during a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14. He missed the rest of the season, yet those twelve-and-a-half games were better than several quarterbacks who played 16 games.

But the Browns drafted Brandon Weeden — a less-versatile, 28-year-old version of McCoy. Weeden has never taken a snap in the NFL, but in April, he was chosen to be their … next … franchise quarterback.

Here’s what I’m thinking: the Falcons need to entertain the thought of McCoy backing up Matt Ryan. McCoy is a good kid with a selfless attitude, and his skills would be a great fit in the Falcons’ offense if anything should happen to Matt Ryan over the course of a long season.

And if you saw how poorly our offensive line protected Ryan in 2011, it has to be in the back of every Falcons fan’s mind that he may get injured at some point.

Chris Redman is a decent backup, but McCoy’s arm would be better-suited to keep the Falcons’ offense rolling in the event of a Ryan injury. His mobility would open up the offense in a way not seen since Mike Vick — imagine if defenses had to defend against the Falcons’ running game, passing game and the chance McCoy could scramble for a big run.

Since the Browns don’t seem to recognize talent, the Falcons should propose a trade: McCoy for Redman. Their contracts are about the same (except Redman is only on a one-year contract, whereas McCoy has two years left on his deal — another plus for the Browns), and Redman could be a better backup for Weeden than Seneca Wallace, who would be their second-string QB.

My fear is if McCoy gets into an offense that is good, he’s going to be a very dangerous quarterback. That would raise the possibility that he’d beat the Falcons, so it would calm my uneasy mind if he was on our sideline.

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