When Brandon Weeden was selected with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, Colt McCoy's time as the undisputed starting quarterback was finished. Why would the Cleveland Browns select a quarterback in the first round if they had no intention of starting him? Say what you will about the front office, but the selection of Weeden was a telltale sign that things were about to change.
Immediately after Weeden was drafted the rumor mill started churning out stories that McCoy was on the trading block. Perhaps the Browns could receive a sixth or seventh round pick for their "former" starting quarterback. Call me an ignorant fan all you like, but I personally would rather have McCoy than a hypothetical rookie linebacker who may or may not make the squad.
McCoy never got a fair shake last season to reach his full potential. Camp was shortened due to the lockout and he was forced to learn an entirely new offense. The running game was a mess due to injuries to Brandon Jackson, Peyton Hillis, and Montario Hardesty. The Browns also did not have a legitimate No. 1 receiver as Greg Little, their closest option talent wise, sat out his final college season due to NCAA infractions. I won't even get started on the mess the offensive line was last year. Needless to say, McCoy was playing against a stacked deck. He immediately earned my respect when he took responsibility for the performance of the team and did not make excuses.
Weeden on the other hand has an improved offensive line, Little who is showing solid improvement and the potential to develop into a prime target, No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson who we have yet to see but should meet expectations at the very least, and a pair of rookie receivers in Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin who have the potential to make big plays.
While McCoy has had an outstanding preseason against second-team defenses, his value as Weeden's backup far outweighs a late-round draft choice. McCoy may have already hit his ceiling ability-wise but he is familiar with the offensive system and is a more comforting option than Seneca Wallace should Weeden not be able to perform his duties under center. If McCoy is destined to be a backup quarterback for the remainder of his professional career, why should it not be in Cleveland?
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