The times are clearly changing in Cleveland, as the Browns have already moved on from Johnny Manziel and brought in Robert Griffin III. With the #2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, they’re also rumored to be very interested in further upgrading the quarterback position by drafting either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
All of this movement has left one guy as the odd man out – Josh McCown. The 36-year old journeyman is the forgotten man despite a solid showing in Ohio in 2015, but with RG3 in tow and a rookie coming in to compete, an aging veteran simply doesn’t have a place in head coach Hue Jackson’s rebuild.
Naturally, that puts McCown on the trading block and could have his name heating up with several teams still needing a leader for their offense. But where will he go? Let’s take a look at five realistic destinations:
Dallas has long been attached to Johnny Manziel, but until the young quarterback gets his off-field life in order, it remains unlikely the ‘Boys will take a gamble on him. Dallas does know they have a glaring issue behind starting quarterback Tony Romo, however, as Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore combined to give the offense little life after Romo sustained two breaks to his collar bone. With Romo aging and becoming more and more of an injury risk, the Cowboys badly need to put together a better backup plan.
That backup plan could still include a young free agent like Johnny Football and/or a draft pick, but it could also include a swift trade for a reliable backup like McCown. McCown alone could give Dallas some breathing room in terms of their top backup behind Romo, while he’d also help out the quarterback room. Should Dallas ever decide to bring Manziel on board, as well, he’d also be a good mentor, just as he was with Manziel in Cleveland.
Green Bay Packers
The story is fairly similar in Green Bay, as Aaron Rodgers has gone down a couple of times in the past few years and Green Bay found themselves barely getting by with the likes of Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. Flynn is gone and it’s just down to Tolzien, who the Packers inexplicably are quite high on. That likely keeps them out of the running for McCown’s services, but for a team with title aspirations, they may want to re-think that thought. McCown would be a sound addition for game-planning during the week and would also provide the Pack with a capable backup in the event A-Rod ever gets hurt again.
McCown’s career is winding down at his age, so it’s entirely possible he’d prefer to go somewhere he can actually play. Denver could be a good spot, as all they currently have under center is Mark Sanchez. The Broncos are a very attractive destination, too, as they just won their division – and the Super Bowl – with very mediocre quarterback play. Thanks to explosive offensive weapons, a talented running back and the league’s top defense, they could easily make another deep playoff run under the right circumstances. If McCown could play like he did in 2013 – or even last season – he’d be good enough to keep the Broncos in playoff contention and maybe even march to a Super Bowl repeat. It’s anyone’s guess if Denver sees him as their short-term answer, but he’d allow them to be competitive, while also groom a young passer for the future.
New York Jets
If McCown wants to play somewhere and have a shot at winning, option number would be New York, who still are on the hunt for a starting quarterback. They could just as easily end up re-signing Ryan Fitzpatrick or go back to Geno Smith, but Smith isn’t reliable and the last update had Fitzpatrick potentially pricing himself out of The Big Apple. If so, the Jets could just made a quick trade with Cleveland, who would love any new assets, as well as to free themselves from McCown’s contract.
McCown is a steady option that won’t wow anyone, but seeing as Fitzpatrick thrived in New York’s offense and almost got to the playoffs last year, it’s entirely plausible to imagine McCown finding similar success. New York does have interest in McCown and seem to be considering all options, so this might be his most likely landing spot for 2016.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have thus far been firm on the fact that Case Keenum is their starter for 2016, but it will be a true shame if that ends up holding up. Keenum is a replacement level talent at best and doesn’t have the experience McCown could bring to the table. Trading for McCown wouldn’t make a huge splash, but it certainly would make the Rams look a lot more competent on offense. It’s not a move currently being considered by L.A. publicly, but for a team that has a stacked defense and an elite running back, it’s one they really should consider.
Where do you think Josh McCown will play in 2016? Is his new team in this list, somewhere else, or will he stick in Cleveland? Let us know in the comments below!