The Cleveland Browns last week got rid of one of their many recent starting quarterbacks when they released the aging veteran Josh McCown. He was their primary starter during the 2015 when he was first brought in, and made three starts while playing in five games last season.
While it is certainly realistic to say that McCown may well have been released no matter the circumstances, there are many who believe that the move coincides with the organization’s search for another quarterback, as they don’t appear to believe that they have the solution on their current roster.
One of the potential solutions that has been bandied about along the rumor mill has been Patriots reserve Jimmy Garoppolo, who got some playing time last season due to Tom Brady’s suspension, but ended up missing out on more than half of it due to injury.
But McCown, the former Brown, sees Garoppolo as a player who can lead Cleveland.
“I’ve seen him on tape because we had a common opponent in Miami”, he said, according to Mary Kay Cabot. “He made some high-level throws and did some things that would get you excited about his ability to maybe carry a franchise. That’s definitely on the tape”.
That is certainly some high praise for a relatively inexperienced player who had not gotten a great deal of playing time over the course of the past couple of years. And it should be noted that Brady’s backups have not exactly had the greatest track record of moving into starting jobs with other teams.
Yet McCown seems to think that Garoppolo is different, and said that he sees traits in him that remind him of Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers.
“I saw some things in Derek Carr early on in the 2014 draft that reminded me of Aaron Rodgers and I thought ‘this guy is going to be pretty good’. I see the same things when I watch Jimmy: quick release, strong arm, athletic. I’m not saying he’s Aaron Rodgers, but he’s got some traits in the same mold, and he’s got tremendous upside”.
Another trait that weighed in the young quarterback’s favor for McCown was his experience with the Patriots, and with Brady. “I certainly see why people would give him an opportunity to come in and be a franchise guy. You can certainly see that and he’s making these throws at a high level against NFL talent, so that would get me excited about him for sure”.
I imagine that the Texans were excited about Brock Osweiler too. McCown did say that he sees a much better quarterback in Garoppolo than he did in Matt Cassel.
He also said that the Browns should go after him aggressively if they believe that he can be the guy. Of course, whoever ‘the guy’ is may be spending a lot of time on the ground or on the bench injured until they get their offensive line back in working order.