October 23, 2014

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Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy signs 4-year deal with Browns

Colt McCoy won’t have any catching up to do.

The Browns rookie quarter­back beat the clock, agreeing to a four-year deal Thursday, according to several reports. Cleveland rookies are scheduled to report to Berea today and take the field Sunday. The veter­ans report July 30 with practice starting July 31.

The Browns didn’t have a com­ment, as they don’t announce deals until they’re official.

Offensive lineman Shawn Lau­vao also agreed to a four-year deal, worth $3.22 million, accord­ing to the Plain Dealer. Lauvao, a 6-foot-2, 315-pounder out of Ari­zona State, was the 92nd pick and is expected to compete for the starting job at right guard.

That leaves the Browns’ top three picks unsigned: corner­back Joe Haden, No. 7 overall, and second-rounders safety T.J. Ward and running back Montario Hardesty. While rookies are required to report today, the official start of camp is the first full-squad workout, so there’s time to avoid a “holdout.”

McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college history at Texas, was drafted in the thirdround, No. 85 overall. ESPN.com reported the deal could reach $5 million after incentives, which is almost $2 million more than the typical deal for a mid-third-round pick. That’s because McCoy is a quarterback and could be the longterm solution at the position for the Browns.

CT photo by Steve Manheim.

CT photo by Steve Manheim.

The last high-profile Browns draft pick at quarterback never recovered from a rookie holdout. Brady Quinn was a firstround pick out of Notre Dame in 2007, missed a chunk of training camp and fell behind Derek Anderson, who had a Pro Bowl season. Quinn eventually became the starter for parts of 2008 and 2009, but didn’t succeed and was traded to Denver in the offseason.

McCoy is in a much different situation. He was a third-round pick, and president Mike Holmgren said during the draft McCoy wouldn’t play this season. He’s behind veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace on the depth chart.

“My role is to get in the playbook, watchin’ film, picking up on things I can pick up on,” McCoy said after the final minicamp. “Then obviously getting as much coaching as I can.

“It’s a unique situation, it’s one that I’ve never been in. It’s tough at times. But you’ve just got to embrace that and really control what you can control.”

McCoy (6-1, 216 pounds) won a record 45 games for the Longhorns, setting Texas records with 13,253 yards passing and 112 touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a junior and senior.

He threw for 3,521 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior, completing 70.6 percent of his passes.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.