Super Size Me: One McCown, Coming Right Up!
Well, now they’ve gone and done it. Somehow, the Browns are managing to muck up the off season more than the 2014 regular season.
On Friday, the Browns signed Josh McCown to a three-year deal worth $14 million with chance to make $20 million. $6.25 million is guaranteed, including $5.25 million in the first year. Shockingly, McCown acquired an average salary of $5,000,000 per year for two-years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his breakout half season under Trestman and the Bears. And after going a dismal 1-10 in Tampa, the Browns sign him to an average salary of $4,666,667 per year for an even longer three-years. Really? It’s like buying a TV for full price that your friend bought last year which can’t seem to tune in any channels.
After the deal was struck, both coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer called Brian Hoyer let him know. Very kind of them to finally get in touch with Hoyer after they decided to go another direction, particularly since Hoyer and his agent have been trying to speak to the Browns organization for quite some time regarding his future.
Clearly, you already know how I feel about signing McCown. But let’s step back for a second and objectively compare these two quarterbacks and what they’ve done thus far in their respective NFL careers:
Josh McCown – 35 Years Old
- 58.8% Completion Percentage
- 6.63 Average yards per attempt
- 1.03 TD/INT Ratio
- 76.1 Passer Rating
Brian Hoyer – 29 Years Old
- 56.5% Completion Percentage
- 7.23 Average yards per attempt
- 1.00 TD/INT Ratio
- 76.8 Passer Rating
You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to see that both quarterbacks are nearly identical. If nothing else, Hoyer is younger and has potential to be a regular season starter, perhaps even a competent game manager like Alex Smith in Kansas City. But McCown? The only year in which he had a Passer Rating over 100 (and in fact the only year he had a Passer Rating over 82.6), and might have been worth what the Browns signed him to, was 2013 when he played 8 games for the Bears. Otherwise, there’s absolutely no evidence that McCown can be effective in any system that doesn’t include Marc Trestman. Clearly, he’s a short term expensive band aid, and, at best, a mediocre mentor for Johnny Football.
Over the last two years, Hoyer had an average salary of $982,500. Sure, he wants more money than that now, but I bet that if you told Hoyer he would compete to start in Cleveland, he would have gladly taken $2M a year over 3-years, far less than the $5.25 million guaranteed for McCown in just year one.
Frankly, I think this is a huge mistake. $5.25 million could have been better spent on finding another wide receiver or tight end in free agency. But hey, as I’ve said before, the Browns don’t have a great track record of making smart decisions, so why start here?