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Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns reach 3-year deal

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The Cleveland Browns have unearthed yet another quarterback in their never-ending quest for stability under center.

The team on Friday agreed to terms with free-agent quarterback Josh McCown, who spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that McCown and the team struck a three-year deal worth $14 million with chance to make $20 million, per a source who has seen the deal. Of that, $6.25 million is guaranteed, including $5.25 million in Year 1.

Landing McCown all but assures that general manager Ray Farmer has moved on from Brian Hoyer, who posted a 10-6 mark in Cleveland over the past two seasons, the best record of any Browns starter since the team's return to the NFL in 1999. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that coach Mike Pettine called Hoyer to inform him of the McCown deal.

It's surprising to see McCown, 35, land a three-year pact. He can't be seen as a long-term solution, even in Cleveland.

The journeyman has produced a 17-32 career record since joining the league in 2002. His finest work came two seasons ago in Chicago, where McCown threw 13 touchdowns to just one interception under the watch of Marc Trestman. His play fell off a cliff in Tampa, though, where McCown produced the league's third-lowest Total QBR en route to guiding the Bucs to an NFL-worst 2-14 record.

With Johnny Manziel tucked away in rehab, McCown immediately becomes the leader in the clubhouse to start Week 1 for the Browns. We still expect the team to add another passer in the draft and -- until today -- had Cleveland tabbed as a candidate to swing a trade for Bucs arm Mike Glennon.

Instead, the Browns have settled on a low-risk, low-ceiling veteran who can bring a dose of leadership to the offense. It's hardly an inspiring solution, but Pettine and his staff score points for stealing McCown away from Bills coach -- and former Pettine mentor -- Rex Ryan:

In an awful market for quarterbacks, the Browns arguably landed the top free-agent available. 

Still, it's hardly a galvanizing addition, especially for a Cleveland fan base that once hoped this offseason would center around developing Manziel into a tantalizing franchise savior.

The savior act is on hold.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the annual "Top 101 free agents" list and discusses the latest in league news. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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