August 26, 2014

Colt McCoy agrees to pay cut, wins backup spot for 49ers

It may not have much to do with the Cleveland Browns anymore, but I still love following the news about former Browns that we pinned hopes and dreams to at various times. Colt McCoy has apparently been named the backup to Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco as of yesterday, but that wasn’t the real news as far as I was concerned.

Among all the quotes about Colt McCoy failing to meet, let alone exceed expectations and struggling to pick up the offense, there was this little tidbit.

It was a big weekend for the quarterback, who helped his chances of staying by agreeing to a pay cut as well.

Earlier in the year, Yahoo! reported that Colt McCoy had played enough in the 2012 NFL season to exercise some contract escalators. That took his cap number in 2013 and made it $2.325 million. Of course he was then traded from a team flush with cap space to one at a very different cap cycle with highly compensated players all over the field. Additionally Colin Kaepernick – signed through 2014 – is set to have a cap number of $1.398 million in this upcoming season as the starter. The former 2011 second rounder will presumably cash in at some point, but wouldn’t it have been comical if he was in a situation where it would make logical sense for Colt McCoy to pick up the tab at a restaurant on the road this season?

The rumors on Twitter have it that McCoy reworked his deal so that he will only make the veteran minimum of $630,000 and has a chance to earn some money back if he’s active and plays. This being the NFL where guys can get cut at almost any time, $630,000 is far (far) better than $0. Plus there was the added pressure of the 49ers signing Seneca Wallace last week, so it probably made all sorts of sense for the former Texas Longhorn.

[Also See: Sunday Six Pack: Reasons to stay optimistic following loss to Colts]

 

 

Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy to re-unite in San Francisco?

The San Francisco 49ers might be interested in talking to recently released Seneca Wallace according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (by way of ProFootballTalk.) Of course that seems ironic to Browns fans that saw the Colt McCoy / Seneca Wallace combination lead to controversy over the Browns’ starting QB spot in Cleveland over the last couple years.

Seneca Wallace was cut by the Browns after the pre-season last year and spent the season out of football before being signed by the Saints this off-season. He was released on August 19th.

Colt McCoy was expected to be the backup to 49ers starting QB Colin Kaepernick after being traded on April 1st 2013. The deal sent the Browns’ 2013 6th rounder and McCoy to the 49ers for 7th and 5th round picks in the 2013 NFL draft.

The 5th rounder was flipped to the Colts for their 4th rounder in 2014 and the 7th was included in the trade that brought the Browns veteran receiver Davone Bess.

Hard to believe all the movement of players and draft picks in the NFL. This is a league where it isn’t uncommon for players to go from presumed starters, to expected backups, to assets used in trades for veteran receivers all in a matter of a couple of seasons.

Seneca Wallace better not ask McCoy for any pointers on the playbook should he end up signing in San Francisco. You know, if that comes to pass and McCoy is still there when Wallace arrives, that is.

[Related: Browns’ Chudzinski praises Joe Haden’s leadership]

Raiders to work out former Browns QB Seneca Wallace

Adam Schefter is reporting (by way of PFT for us) that former Browns QB Seneca Wallace is going to work out for the Oakland Raiders. It just goes to show that there are at least nine lives available for anyone who can stand under center in the NFL. It also goes to show that the economics of football are changing just a bit.

Seneca Wallace was cut prior to the 2012 season in favor of Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy and Thaddeus Lewis. Wallace was set to make $2.4 million on the year and even with plenty of money to spare, it almost certainly was a part of the Browns’ decision to cut Wallace loose.

Fast-forward to this off-season where the Browns signed another journeyman veteran quarterback – Jason Campbell – with experience at a similar age as to what Wallace was when he originally signed with the Browns. Wallace signed that deal for three years and $9 million plus incentives. Campbell’s contract is two years and a mere $3.75 million with a reported $2.6 million in available incentives. And Campbell is a player with legitimate starting experience that Seneca Wallace never had.

Add in additional evidence like Kevin Kolb’s two-year deal for $6.1 million with a miniscule $1 million in guaranteed money, and it might be a full-blown trend at the league’s most important position.

[Related: NFL News: Browns sign WR David Nelson]

NFL News: Browns “considered” Seneca Wallace, Hardesty could start

Pat Shurmur had his chat with reporters on Thursday and discussed the decision to bring in quarterback Josh Johnson. It was top of my mind yesterday as I wondered if the Browns had talked to Seneca Wallace. He played for the Browns last year and was cut at the end of training camp this year, so it seemed like at least a logical option in the thought progression.

As it turns out, the Browns at least considered it before bringing in the veteran Johnson.

Shurmur also revealed to the pool that if Trent Richardson is unable to go that Montario Hardesty would get the start and Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya would also be active. Maybe that’s a competitive advantage for the Browns. We at least know that Brandon Jackson is fresh, right? (Yes, I’m kidding.)

Finally, Shurmur wouldn’t reveal exactly who is making roster decisions at this point. He claimed that everyone was talking and working together to make decisions. Imagine that?

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2012-12-27 – Craig talks to frequent talk radio caller Hiram about the Browns]

The sooner we get away from Shurmur and the Big Show, the Better

Can it get any worse here in Cleveland?

I was watching another vintage Pat Shurmur-led debacle in Dallas, and all I could do is sit back and laugh. Seriously, how can you even get yourself worked up over this stuff anymore? Every week the Browns hang around just long enough to keep you interested, then fall off a cliff in the end. Spare me the “at least we are competitive” bit. It’s really simple. As was said in the classic flick Top Gun: “There’s no points for second place.” Nobody cares if you are close. Moral victories are for losers.

And that is what Pat Shurmur’s team is. Sorry, that is the truth. It’s nice that Trent Richardson looks like a beast and that the young WR duo of Josh Gordon and Greg Little look like keepers. It’s nice that Joe Haden is a great corner back. It’s nice that the Ahtyba Rubin/Phil Taylor combo are loads in the middle of the D-line. It’s nice that D’Qwell Jackson is an All-Pro type middle linebacker. But none of it matters because the team doesn’t win.

[Read more...]

Eskin: A.J. Feeley could be headed to the Browns

Things might get more and more interesting with regard to QBs in Cleveland if Howard Eskin out of Philly is correct. Eskin reports that A.J. Feeley could be a Brown, although it appears to be mostly speculation on his part.

If Feeley finds his way to Cleveland, as a 35-year-old QB he could fill the mentor role for Brandon Weeden the way Jake Delhomme did for Colt McCoy. It has always been hinted that McCoy missed the elder statesman a great deal last season. Feeley has played with Philly for the bulk of his career, mostly as a backup.

And who knows? Maybe Colt McCoy isn’t safe just yet as the backup.

[Related: NFL Roster Cuts: Browns Cut Seneca Wallace]

Shurmur: Fourth Game Alone Won’t Decide Browns’ Back-Up QB Spot

I don’t know if this is going to totally tell the story. I think we have to keep everything in mind on that. We obviously didn’t play well on offense in the first half. There are a lot of guys out there fighting to make this team that haven’t had many reps. That is what I’m watching, I’m watching how well the guys are playing. We finally got a drive there at the end and got some points on the board, which is important. I thought Seneca did a nice job of executing the drive. We got some good runs out of Brandon Jackson there too. There was some good stuff in there. There is stuff for us to evaluate. Hopefully, what we see tonight will make our decisions tougher.

– Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, during halftime on Thursday night, on the play of quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace as the two players are essentially vying for one roster spot.  On the night, McCoy was 2-for-5 for 16 yards, an interception and a passer rating of 9.2. Wallace was 3-for-4 for 34 yards, a touchdown, and a passer rating of 141.7.

[Related: What Kind of Identity are the Browns Building?]

The Boots: C.J. Miles, Andrew Bynum Trade, Backup Quarterbacks, Preseason Browns Injuries

As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.

Boot Up: Addition of C.J. Miles — Yes, I like the move, but don’t read too much into it. The 25-year-old Miles has career averages of 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 51.2% true shooting in his seven-year career with the Utah Jazz. The free agent signing strikes me as a low-risk, high-reward move that can only help the Cavaliers at their weakest position: small forward. [Read more...]

Colt McCoy Should Be Dissatisfied but Not Surprised

Colt McCoy should be dissatisfied. That’s the nature of being a quarterback. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Seneca Wallace. If you’re not starting you want to be and more than likely think you should be. You can’t begin to approach the position without a desire to want the ball in your hands. From that perspective, I’m almost relieved that Colt McCoy expressed some displeasure with the “competition” for Browns QB to date. Simultaneously, despite what Pat Shurmur says, I think the competition is really just beginning.

While I certainly understand Colt McCoy finding it unfair, to think that Colt McCoy doesn’t “get it” is also impossible to understand. This time last year, he was Brandon Weeden. There was no competition between Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace. Colt McCoy would have had to open the door for Wallace in practice. Similarly, McCoy then had opportunities to open the door for Wallace again in the pre-season. McCoy went 9/10 for 135 yards and a TD against Green Bay. McCoy threw three TD passes against Detroit. McCoy was mediocre in the tune-up game going 9/18 with an interception and taking three sacks before not playing in the fourth game at all. By the time the Eagles sacked McCoy three times in the third game, it was all over and he was the starter.

Was it a competition? Sure, kind of. If Colt McCoy laid an egg in the first two games and Seneca Wallace lit it up, there’s no telling who would have been under center week one against the Bengals. Same thing this Friday in the GLC. Colt McCoy will get a chance to play, most likely immediately after Brandon Weeden. If Brandon Weeden completes 30% of his passes and throws two or more interceptions and then Colt McCoy leads a couple TD drives, what do you think will happen? On August 16th when the Browns take on Green Bay, if something similar happens, guess who is going to find themselves back in the QB conversation? [Read more...]

Surprise! Brandon Weeden named Browns starting QB, Colt McCoy disappointed

Everyone knew from the moment Brandon Weeden’s name was spoken from the podium of the NFL draft that he would be given every single opportunity to be atop the QB depth chart to start the first pre-season game. Weeden had to get himself signed to a contract and in camp while also avoiding injury.

The Browns talked of competition and it might be coming as Weeden, Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace enter the pre-season games against live competition this Friday, but it hasn’t happened yet. Certainly it hasn’t been what Colt McCoy expected.

“I thought it would be a competition,” said McCoy following practice on Monday. “I would like to say I never took snaps with the first group.”

McCoy went on to say that he found out right before practice today that Weeden was going to be announced as the starter.

Again, there’s a lot of football between now and the opening game. Colt McCoy should get ample opportunity to show his stuff with Montario Hardesty and some of the select twos. Obviously supplanting Weeden isn’t likely, but McCoy should have known that ever since the Browns selected a QB in the first round of the draft.

[Related: Jimmy Haslam Represents Possibility and Opportunity]

 

Pat Shurmur Makes the Media Rounds

Before he gets embroiled in the day-to-day operations of running the Cleveland Browns training camp, Pat Shurmur took a lot of time to talk to the media. He spoke to ESPN Cleveland, PD Sports Insider, and finally Bull and Fox on 92.3 the Fan. You can listen to them all, but just in case you can’t find the time, I did it for you. The coach was a little dry as he repeated a few mantras, but overall, he came off pretty well and sounded relieved to be starting his second year without all the unknowns involved in last year’s lockout.

Shurmur made very clear to say that while this year is decidedly easier, that he wasn’t making excuses for last season’s results. In every interview, Shurmur made sure to say clearly that nobody thought last year’s results were good enough. Even still, he went on to say that it would be much different addressing the team for the first time this year than it was this time last season. Last year, Shurmur had never coached anyone in the room. This year, Shurmur has had a full year with many guys and rookie camps and OTAs with others.

Shurmur also made sure to point out the differences in his coaching staff talking up the presence of Brad Childress at every opportunity. Shurmur wouldn’t admit to being overwhelmed, but his acknowledgement that Childress’ presence him many more opportunities to more things is telling. [Read more...]

Browns Still Trying to Avoid Guaranteed 4th Year with Weeden

The Browns got Trent Richardson signed last night and it was a cakewalk compared to the process with Brandon Weeden. Because Richardson was picked as high in the draft as he was, there really wasn’t much choice but to guarantee all four years of his contract. Brandon Weeden on the other hand is 28 years old and was picked 22nd overall. The fourth year isn’t quite as much of a foregone conclusion.

Lane Adkins of The OBR is reporting that the Browns are trying to be creative with the bonus structure so as not to guarantee the fourth year.

These roster bonuses usually have timing in favor of the player so that the team is put to a decision with enough time for the player to find a new home should they be cut. For example, if there’s a March 1st roster bonus due, that means Brandon Weeden would be cut loose before the draft and early enough in the off-season to increase his likelihood of finding another job.

Presuming all that comes to pass and the Browns cut Weeden before his fourth year, he’ll likely be looking for a backup QB gig, which Seneca Wallace has proven can still be lucrative. He got $9 million over three years from the Browns.

We’ll see if Weeden’s reps go for the roster bonus or whether they’ll hold out for the fully guaranteed fourth year.

[Related: Browns and Trent Richardson Reportedly Agree on Deal]

Early Cleveland Browns Offensive Questions As Training Camp Approaches

It’s amazing to consider that training camp begins in just two weeks. The Browns will kick-start their 2012 season with a helmet practice from 8:45-11:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 28.

In the meanwhile, it’s been a fairly exciting offseason for the Brownies, especially on the offensive side. In the past few years, defense was the focus, as the team added new talents such as Phil Taylor, Joe Haden and T.J. Ward.

Over the past two months, the priorities switched over to the offensive side, where the front office looked to improve a unit that ranked 30th in the NFL in scoring last season (13.6 points per game).

Will these recent additions help out immediately? I’ll cover that and similar questions below as I break down some of the main offensive storylines here in mid-July. [Read more...]

Pat Shurmur and Secenca Wallace might not be on the same page

With regard to the role of “third quarterback” for the Cleveland Browns, it appears that there is a slight misunderstanding between Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and veteran back-up quarterback Seneca Wallace. With last year’s starter Colt McCoy still in the fold, and one of this season’s first-round draft pick Brandon Weeden expected to start, Shurmur feels that all of his quarterbacks are of the mentality that his players will graciously do what they’re asked.

“I don’t see the urgency [in naming a starter],” said Shurmur on Tuesday afternoon, “but in terms of the backup situation, I can see a scenario where all three of the players you’re talking about will be here. I think that’s fair.

“My understanding is that [Wallace] would be [accepting of the third-quarterback position]. It’s important that room is right. There will be a starting quarterback and there will be guys working behind him. I have no reservation about however it works out. I think those guys will handle it in the right way.”

But once the microphones were aimed in the direction of Wallace, his response to the identical set of questions had a bit of a different tone.

“”Probably not,” said Wallace when asked about all three quarterbacks being on the roster come Opening Day. ”Can any of you guys see all three of us being here?”

And of the willingness and desire, if needed, to be the third quarterback?

“No, not really,” Wallace said. ”We all know the third guy doesn’t dress Sundays, and if it comes down to that decision, obviously neither [Colt McCoy or myself] want to be that third guy.”

McCoy, who started 13 games last season before missing the final three with a severe concussion, refuses to allow himself to consider the possibility not starting, recently telling SI’s Dan Patrick that there is a quarterback competition in Berea.

“From my perspective I don’t want to make this about me vs. another guy,” McCoy said. “I’d much rather talk about what’s going to help the Browns this fall win football games. At the end of the day that’s all that really matters, that’s all the fans really care about, and that’s all our organization cares about I hope is whatever is best for our football team to win games.

[Related: Could the Browns offense benefit from contract years?]

Are you ready for another Browns QB controversy?

With the recent stories surrounding Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace, it’s appearing inevitable that we’ll have a heated QB controversy in Berea over the next few months. No trades appear imminent and so, for now, Mike Holmgren and company appear to be moving forward with the two veterans and rookie Brandon Weeden leading the race together for the signal-caller position.

And get me clear on what I mean by a QB controversy: No starter has been directly named yet. There’s going to be an open competition – at least for the next several months – and there will be some unhappy fans no matter what the final call is by the Browns staff. There will be confusion and there will be frustration, and it’s going to be all over the news for quite a while. [Read more...]

Seneca Wallace: I’m More Than Willing to Help Brandon Weeden

I’m more than willing to help [Brandon Weeden]. [...] I’ve been a team guy for 10 years, I’m more than willing. You know and everybody else knows from the outside that this kid’s got to play. At the end of the season they evaluated the games that I played, they evaluated Colt on the two seasons that he started here in Cleveland so they made the decision to better this team. [...]  I know that my job now going into my tenth season and being in this offense is to prepare Brandon Weeden and make sure that he’s ready to go on day one.

- Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace in an interview with 92.3 The Fan’s Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps. In 2011, Wallace obtained a reputation for his unwillingness to help quarterback Colt McCoy, believing that he deserved a chance to be the starting quarterback of the team.

[Related: Getting to know your new Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden]

Schefter: Browns Do Not Expect to Trade McCoy

Despite initial reports following the selection of Brandon Weeden in the NFL Draft first round, the Browns now are not expecting to trade Colt McCoy. This comes from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported this news Saturday afternoon shortly after the start of day three of the draft:

We’ll keep you updated soon with all of the latest. Certainly, this makes a lot of sense to us, as McCoy seems like a much more feasible backup and/or immediate competitor to Weeden as opposed to returning backup Seneca Wallace.

[Related: What Is The Rush To Trade Colt McCoy?]

What Is The Rush To Trade Colt McCoy?

The Browns have drafted the guy who they now view as their latest Quarterback of the future, Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State. He has the size and the arm strength that they covet for the West Coast offense. He is clearly here to play from the start. You don’t draft a 28-year-old quarterback to sit for a year or two and learn. If this is the guy that Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren believe in, then lets see what he has on opening day.

That leaves the Browns with two other QBs who now have uncertain futures. Colt McCoy, the now deposed starter, and the backup for the last two seasons, Seneca Wallace.

During last night’s press conference, Heckert was asked a pointed question; what is the future of McCoy with the organization and would they consider trading him now that Weeden was brought in. ”

(A trade is)something we’ll talk about tonight and tomorrow,” he said.

The night turned to morning, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer was reporting that the Browns were talking to Green Bay about a possible trade of McCoy. The Packers lost their backup, Matt Flynn, to free agency, and just have former Texas Tech great Graham Harrell behind him. My question is this – what is the rush to get rid of McCoy so quickly? [Read more...]

Memo To Seneca Wallace: This is a Team Game

There were obviously many things that weren’t great about the 2011 Cleveland Browns season. The lack of playmakers on the outside; the myriad of Peyton Hillis fiascos; the injury bug; the horrific at times special teams play. But this was a young team with a first-year head coach in Pat Shurmur, who at times looked a little in over his head.

On Sunday, the PD scribes took their shots at what went wrong, what went right, and what they look for 2012. Of all of the assertions, facts and figures I read, one thing in particular stuck out and raised a real red flag for me.

Shurmur didn’t have a full offseason of OTA’s, training camp, or even the ability to talk with his key offensive players about the new scheme he was installing. With a second- year QB in Colt McCoy being anointed the guy, it wasn’t going to be an easy task for the kid from Texas to learn on the fly. Ah, but the backup QB was none other than Mike Holmgren’s handpicked guy, Seneca Wallace, who had run the West Coast offense in his years with Seattle. He learned from “The Big Show” himself after all. Conventional thinking was Wallace was the perfect guy to help McCoy along. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Tristan Thompson In The Offense, Browns Quarterback Options, Drafting Trent Richardson

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

A in-depth Xs and Os look at Tristan Thompson so far from the wizards at NBAPlaybook: “Thompson’s jump shot still has a long way to go.  He shot only 30.8% on jump shots last year, putting him in the bottom quarter in all of college basketball. He also only made 54.6% of his attempts from the free throw line while at Texas.  So far, that hasn’t changed.  Thompson has shot only 45.5% from the line on limited attempts this season, and has made one shot from beyond nine feet this season.

The biggest downfall of this, perhaps even more so than the misses, is how much it can mess up the Cavs spacing.” [Derek Bodner/NBAPlaybook.com]

[Read more...]