QB deals: 49ers land McCoy, Raiders get Flynn
CLEVELAND — The Browns have discarded another quarterback. Colt McCoy will start over as a backup in San Francisco. McCoy, who became expendable when Cleveland signed veteran free agent quarterback Jason Campbell last week, was traded Monday to the San Francisco 49ers for two draft picks.
The Browns confirmed the deal on the same day new coach Rob Chudzinski welcomed more than 60 players — including McCoy — for the start of the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program.
The Browns only said they received two "undisclosed" draft choices, but a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press the team got a fifth- and seventh-round pick in this month's NFL draft in exchange for McCoy and Cleveland's sixth-round pick. The person provided details of the trade on condition of anonymity. The Browns now have seven picks in this year's draft.
McCoy is one of 18 quarterbacks to start for the Browns since 1999. The team's inability to find a franchise QB is among the biggest reasons Cleveland has made the playoffs just once in 14 seasons.
For a short period, McCoy showed promise of being the quarterback to revive the Browns. But he was flattened on a vicious hit in 2011, lost his job to Brandon Weeden last season and became the odd-man out after Campbell's arrival.
CBSSports.com was first to report McCoy's trade.
Last week, Browns CEO Joe Banner said the Browns would not release McCoy and would look for a trade partner. In San Francisco, the 26-year-old McCoy will compete with Scott Tolzien to back up Colin Kaepernick. The Niners have been looking for a reliable backup since trading Alex Smith to Kansas City at the start of free agency.
A popular player with some Cleveland fans who felt he never got a fair shake, McCoy will also be reunited in San Francisco with former Browns kicker Phil Dawson, who recently signed a one-year free agent deal with the Niners.
Because of injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, McCoy, who won 45 career games at Texas, was forced into the starting lineup as a rookie and made eight starts.
Though not blessed with a strong arm, McCoy's mobility in the pocket allowed him to make enough plays that the Browns kept him as their No. 1 QB in 2011. He started 13 games, but his season was essentially ended — and his career altered — when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison.
The Browns allowed McCoy to return to the game despite having a concussion, and the team's mishandling of the situation led to the NFL making some changes to its policy on head injuries.
McCoy was in line to be Cleveland's starter in 2012, but the team chose Weeden in the first round. McCoy spent much of last season as the subject of trade rumors and he was knocked down the depth chart once Campbell was signed to a two-year deal.
Campbell is expected to play behind Weeden next season, but could challenge him for the starting job. The Browns also have quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, who made one start in 2012, under contract.
McCoy, who went 6-15 as a starter, appeared in three games last season. He came in after Weeden hurt his shoulder against Denver on Dec. 23, but McCoy sustained a right shoulder injury on one of the four sacks recorded against him by the Broncos and he was inactive for Cleveland's season finale. McCoy completed 409 of 702 passes (53 percent) for 4,388 yards with 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with the Browns.
The Oakland Raiders are changing directions at quarterback once again.
The Raiders acquired Seattle backup Matt Flynn on Monday for draft picks, bringing an end to Carson Palmer's brief tenure as starter in Oakland even before they are done paying the steep price they dealt to acquire him.
"Matt's one of those guys, even though he hasn't had a lot of opportunities, when he's had those opportunities, he's made the most out of those chances," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "We feel real good about that, and feel real good about getting a young prospect at quarterback."
Oakland will send a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 to Seattle. Flynn will compete with Terrelle Pryor for the starting job with Palmer on his way out of Oakland.
Fox Sports reported Palmer was expected to be dealt to Arizona for a draft pick. The Raiders traded a 2012 first-round draft pick and 2013 second-rounder to Cincinnati for Palmer during the 2011 season.
Palmer fell one game short of the playoffs that season and the Raiders then regressed and went 4-12 this past year. With Palmer owed $13 million for this season and reportedly unwilling to take a pay cut, the rebuilding Raiders went a different direction.
"When we looked at it, both from his standpoint and our standpoint, we just realized that it was time for us to move on and move forward," Allen said. "We felt like Matt Flynn gave us a great option."
After showing promise as a backup with the Packers, Flynn signed a three-year, $26 million deal with the Seahawks, but failed to beat out rookie Russell Wilson for the starting job and quickly became expendable.
Flynn, a backup in college at LSU to former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, has started just two games in five seasons as a pro. But it's those brief appearances that intrigue many NFL teams.
He threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a loss at New England in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers late in the 2010 season. He then started the regular-season finale the following season, going 31 for 44 for 480 yards and six touchdown passes in a 45-41 win over Detroit.
Flynn was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round in 2008 when Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie worked in the Green Bay front office. He has thrown 141 passes in his career, completing 87 for 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.