Multiple reports emerged linking Josh McCown to two of the perpetually quarterback-needy teams. Both the Browns and Bills are trying to sign the 35-year-old free agent, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The news that the Browns and Bills are zeroing in on McCown, who the Buccaneers released earlier this month, came after an Associated Press report saying both teams were negotiating a contract with one of the top targets in a quarterback-starved market. McCown already visited both teams with his trip to Cleveland coming after an apparently productive excursion to Buffalo, along with meetings with the Bears and Jets.
McCown, who went 1-10 in Tampa Bay last year, has ties to coaches on both the Browns’ and Bills’ staffs and sits near the top of a market that also includes Mark Sanchez and likely ex-Browns QB Brian Hoyer (10-6 for the Browns in two seasons). Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was the Bears OC the past two years and coached McCown during his most notable stretch of his career, when he completed 66% of his tosses in five games of Jay Cutler‘s injury absence. That number sunk to just more than 56% with the Bucs last season with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.
Although McCown is six years older than new Browns QBs coach Kevin O’Connell, he played for new Cleveland offensive coordinator John DeFilippo during a 2007 stint with the Raiders when DeFilippo was the OC there.
Both E.J. Manuel and Johnny Manziel are enigmas at this point, although Manuel’s 58.6 career completion percentage provides a bit more of a glimpse into his NFL fate than Manziel’s brief-but-disastrous rookie campaign.