When the Browns jettison an aging quarterback with diminishing skills, it’s always a sad day because it makes me think of Bernie Kosar, Bill Belichick and that whole sordid chapter in 1993.
I’ve learned to shield my disappointment from view.
The latest to be pushed off the cliff is Josh McCown, an All-American type of guy who simply can’t play anymore and wasn’t all that good when he could.
The Browns released him Tuesday rather than pay him starter money. Seems wise considering he was 1-10 in that capacity over the past two seasons. He might be brought back as a backup or a coach.
They have turned to this type of quarterback all too often since their expansion inception in 1999.
It’s enough to make any Browns fan cringe as they ponder future options. Consider:
Jake Delomme: Had some glory days, even took the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl. Those days were long gone by the time he joined the Browns in 2010, but nobody told him.
Jeff Garcia: My favorite because you almost had to turn the lights out before he would stop talking in a postgame press conference. I think he might still be in there.
Garcia signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Browns in 2004 — at age 34 — after the competitive portion of his career with the 49ers had ground to a halt. And with this aging one-time star on board, coach Butch Davis felt free to bypass future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger in the draft and grab tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. instead because, dammit, the Browns needed playmakers.
“Jeff gives us electricity,” Davis said in announcing the signing. “He has leadership, charisma and passion, the type of things you can’t put a stopwatch on.”
Garcia won three of the 10 games he started for the Browns, had a 0 quarterback rating in one of them and bristled when Davis, that quarterback savant, called him “skittish.”
Jason Campbell: Was there a more nondescript quarterback in NFL history?
Trent Dilfer: If he seems like a good guy on TV, let me tell you that’s not an act. Can’t imagine anyone better at dissecting his own performance and that of his team. But long past his prime, such that it was, when he washed up on the shores of Lake Erie in 2005 to start a few games and mentor quarterback of the future Charlie Frye.
Robert Griffin III: This guy went downhill fast due to injuries and likely will be spit out into the real world just as soon as the Browns can find that elusive franchise QB.
These QBs had one thing in common: The Browns weren’t — or, in Griffin’s case, aren’t — going anywhere with them running the offense.