McCoy was never the guy for Cleveland

You might have read Monday that the Cleveland Browns traded quarterback Colt McCoy to the San Francisco 49ers for a couple late-round draft picks.

It would have been difficult to miss the news, unless you were living under the proverbial rock. Word of the trade trended heavily on websites. If it wasn’t Kevin Ware’s broken leg, it was the McCoy trade.

If you hadn’t known better, you might have thought that the trade rivaled the Paul Warfield-to-the-Dolphins deal in 1970 for importance to the Browns’ organization. Most of us remember how that one turned out.

For some strange reason McCoy’s perceived value to the Browns was vastly over-inflated. It’s probably because of whom he is and where he came from before being selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft. The McCoy name rings loud enough in Texas, where he was a record-setter in Austin, to reverberate as far as Cleveland.

It didn’t matter that McCoy has an average throwing arm at best. He was from a football factory in the great state of Texas, which somehow translated to certain success in the NFL.

It was a scenario similar to when the Browns selected Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn in the first round of the 2007 draft. There was an assumption that he would finally be the quarterback to lead the Browns out of the darkness of the basement they’ve called home for most of three decades simply because he was a Golden Domer.

The muscle-bound Quinn looked more like a linebacker than a quarterback. Six years later some might say that there are linebackers that could play quarterback better than Quinn.

McCoy has more talent than Quinn, but not enough to carry an offense on his shoulders. He was surprisingly bad in training camp last year, throwing interceptions and errant passes at a disturbing rate.

Yet there were those in the McCoy camp that think he got a raw deal from former coach Pat Shurmur, who quickly named rookie Brandon Weeden the starter. They saw something in McCoy that only a mother could love.

The infatuation with McCoy illustrates how desperate fans have become in their hopes of seeing stability at the position. It’s completely understandable when you consider the list of quarterbacks the Browns have paraded before the public.

Where does one start? Tim Couch is a good place. The first draft pick of the 1999 expansion Browns had a few superb games but was plagued by inconsistency, injuries, poor offensive lines and a receiving corps that boosted Kevin Johnson as the best of the bunch.

You know the rest of the story. From Spergon Wynn to veterans Trent Dilfer and Jeff Garcia, and from Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson to Jake Delhomme. There’s a word missing from the good, the bad and the ugly.

It became a sad state of affairs when McCoy was viewed as potentially a parallel to AFC North Division quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and to a lesser extent Andy Dalton. Former Browns general manager Tom Heckert never would have drafted McCoy if he hadn’t been nudged (if you know what I mean) by former president Mike Holmgren.

McCoy is a good guy that is still living off his college pedigree. In reality, he looked better wearing a visor on the sideline than a helmet on the field.

The sad part of it all is that we’re talking about an organization that once claimed Otto Graham as its quarterback. What fans have been given since 1999 would make Otto turn over in his grave.

It sure has turned a lot of stomachs on fall Sunday afternoons.