Browns Release Quarterback Josh McCown

TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh McCown’s two seasons with the Browns were loaded with injuries and losses.

There won’t be any more.

McCown’s contract was terminated on Tuesday by Cleveland, which also released veteran cornerback Tramon Williams in a pair of cost-cutting moves that will clear more salary-cap space as the team prepares for free agency and the NFL draft.

The 37-year-old McCown went 1-10 in 11 starts in his two seasons. He sustained a concussion in his debut for Cleveland in 2015 and twice broke his collarbone. Beyond that, McCown was asked to serve as a mentor for quarterback Johnny Manziel, who wound up partying his way out of the league.

McCown set a franchise single-game record with 457 yards passing at Baltimore in 2015.

And while McCown may not have produced as hoped on the field, the Browns, who signed him as a free agent before the ’15 season, couldn’t have asked for a better leader. He was one of the team’s most respected players.

The Browns released McCown before they had to pay him a $750,000 roster bonus in March. He was set to make $3.6 million next season.

The team also terminated the contract of Williams, who started 22 games after signing a $21 million, three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent in 2015. He was due a $1.2 million roster bonus and would have made $5.7 million next season.

Williams was another of the Browns’ valued vets.

McCown, who passed for 3,209 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Browns, said at the end of last season that he wants to keep playing. McCown also has expressed an interest in coaching once he retires. He began his career in 2002 with Arizona and also has played for Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, Chicago and Tampa Bay.

With McCown gone, the Browns have three quarterbacks — Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan — on their roster. The team also has to make an upcoming roster decision on Griffin, who was injured most of last season.

The Browns remain in search of a franchise quarterback. The team has the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft and they have the assets to pursue a trade for a quality backup, perhaps New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo.

___

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