We can now add another name to the list of free agent quarterbacks. Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that the Browns have released veteran signal-caller Josh McCown. Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com reports (via Twitter) that the team will also be releasing veteran cornerback Tramon Williams.
McCown, 37, will now be looking to join the eighth team of career, as Garafolo notes that the quarterback is hoping to continue playing next season.
“We appreciate the Browns making this move now so Josh has a chance to catch on with another team,’‘ agent Mike McCartney told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Josh plans to continue his playing career.”
The 14-year veteran was solid this past season in his five games (three starts), completing 54.5-percent of his passes for 1,100 yards, six touchdowns, and six interceptions. McCown was even better in 2015, throwing for 12 touchdowns and only four picks. The move isn’t particularly surprising, as the organization has been connected to a number of quarterbacks via the draft or trade. Releasing the veteran will also erase his nearly $5MM cap hit, leaving the organization with a bit more than $600K in dead cap.
McCown would be a solid choice for teams seeking a veteran backup quarterback. ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak suggests (via Twitter) that the Bills could be a destination, especially if they’re able to get rid of Tyrod Taylor. Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post even says (via Twitter) the Broncos could be an option if the team opts to sign a “mentor.”
Following eight productive seasons with the Packers, Williams signed a three-year, $21MM contract with the Browns prior to the 2015 season. After starting 15 games during his first year in Cleveland, the 33-year-old only played in 12 games (seven starts) this past season. The veteran finished the campaign with 36 tackles, five passes defended, and one interception – his lowest totals since the 2007 season. Releasing the veteran will save the organization nearly $7MM.
In total, Grossi estimates that the two moves will save the Browns nearly $11.3MM in cap space (Twitter link). Former agent Joel Corry tweets that the Browns will now have around $105MM in cap space this offseason.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.