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Former Bears QB Josh McCown signs with Browns

Josh McCown
Former Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown signed with the Cleveland Browns.
(Jeff Haynes / AP)

Josh McCown is headed for Cleveland. The 35-year-old quarterback agreed to a three-year contract with the Browns on Friday evening, a deal his agent Mike McCartney announced on Twitter.

McCown, cut earlier this month by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will now head for his 13th season in the NFL with his eighth team.

The former Bear visited with several clubs in recent weeks. In addition to the Browns, he met with the Bills, Bears and Jets but ultimately received the hardest sell from the decision makers in Cleveland, who may offer McCown an opportunity to start in 2015 while also serving as a veteran leader for the offense.

Brian Hoyer, who started 13 games for the Browns last season at quarterback, is headed for free agency. And Johnny Manziel, a first-round pick last year, recently checked into rehab. That left the Browns in scramble mode to find stability at the position.

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The only other quarterback the Browns have under contract for 2015 is Connor Shaw.

McCown went 1-10 as a starter with Tampa Bay last season, completing 56.3 percent of his passes and throwing for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. That was a steep falloff from 2013 when, while with the Bears, McCown played in eight games with five starts and completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards with 13 TD passes and one interception.

The Bears had expressed interest in potentially bringing McCown back to Chicago with new head coach John Fox, new general manager Ryan Pace and new offensive coordinator Adam Gase all visiting with the quarterback at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. But it’s unclear if the organization had any serious contract discussions with McCown following that meeting.

Now, McCown will head to Cleveland after previous stops with the Bucs, Bears, 49ers, Panthers, Raiders, Lions and Cowboys.

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dwiederer@tribpub.com

Twitter @danwiederer


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