Browns trade McCoy

BEREA – Not that anyone is counting, but the Browns have now either traded or waived 16 quarterbacks since the start of the 1999 expansion season.

Number 16 is Colt McCoy, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers Monday in exchange for fifth- and seven-round picks in the 2013 NFL draft. The Browns also included a sixth-round choice in the deal.

The trade was made possible after the signing of Jason Campbell last week. Campbell will compete with Brandon Weeden for the starting spot when training camp opens.

McCoy arrived in Cleveland on a hunch by former team president Mike Holmgren, who used executive privilege with a third-round pick in the 2010 draft. McCoy was added to back up starter Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.

Holmgren thought McCoy might be a good fit in the west-coast offense he eventually wanted to deploy. Not known for having a strong throwing arm, McCoy was supposed to be an accurate passer. He also was known as an intelligent player with better-than-average athleticism.

The plan was for McCoy to sit his entire rookie season and learn, but that changed midway through the season after Delhomme and Wallace both suffered ankle injuries. McCoy started the final eight games and exhibited some signs of promise, completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,756 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Those pedestrian numbers were enough to earn McCoy a starting job in Pat Shurmur’s first year as coach in 2011. Working in Shurmur’s west coast offense, McCoy completed 57.2 percent of his passes for 2,793 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The 2011 season came to an abrupt end for McCoy when he was leveled by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison on a violent helmet-to-helmet hit. By the time training camp opened in 2012, McCoy faced competition from Weeden, a first-round pick in last year’s draft.

Weeden was awarded the starting job early in camp and took all the snaps until suffering an ankle injury in a loss to the Denver Broncos in week 15. McCoy completed 9-of-17 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown in relief before suffering an ankle injury. Thaddeus Lewis started the season finale against the Steelers.

There was no room for McCoy on the roster after the signing of Campbell, who has 72 career starts in eight seasons.

McCoy brought big-name, big-school appeal to the Browns, but he also brought a weak arm. Defenses didn’t respect his ability to throw the ball deep, making it more difficult for him to have success in the short passing game.

He’ll now be a back up to 2012 sensation Colin Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl after replacing the injured Alex Smith.

The Browns now have seven picks in this month’s draft.