Ex-Bucs QB Josh McCown signs with Browns

Josh McCown, left, was 1-10 as a starter in his only season with the Bucs, with 14 INTs, four lost fumbles and 11 TD passes.
Josh McCown, left, was 1-10 as a starter in his only season with the Bucs, with 14 INTs, four lost fumbles and 11 TD passes.
Published Feb. 28, 2015

TAMPA —- Two weeks after he was released by the Bucs, quarterback Josh McCown found a new home Friday, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with the Browns.

The deal is worth $15 million, media reports said.

McCown, 35, struggled in his only season with the Bucs, going 1-10 as a starter, with 14 interceptions and four lost fumbles to offset 11 touchdown passes. With limited options for quarterbacks in free agency, the Browns outbid the Bills for McCown, who will compete with Johnny Manziel, Cleveland's first-round draft pick last year who is in rehab, and Connor Shaw.

"Josh is a high-character, savvy, veteran quarterback that has a lot to offer to our team," coach Mike Pettine said.

McCown said he picked the Browns because of a positive connection with Pettine and his staff — he previously worked with new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in Oakland — and a strong offensive line anchored by Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas.

"I just want to serve our team and … do my best to help everybody in the locker room be better at their job, and they're going to help me, too," said McCown, who also visited the Bears and Jets. "I want to be able to help those young guys and pass along my knowledge and experiences I've had and help them grow."

McCown's signing suggests that the Browns' 2014 starter, Brian Hoyer, won't be re-signed. Hoyer can be a free agent March 10 and may want a fresh start after losing his job to Manziel late in the season despite a 7-6 record while the Browns were in playoff contention.

McCown is the older brother of quarterback Luke McCown, the Browns' fourth-round draft pick in 2004 who went 0-4 as a rookie.

Peterson happy with ruling on suspension

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he was pleased by a federal judge's ruling that the NFL improperly applied a new conduct code in suspending him for his child-abuse case.

"It is a positive step in protecting players' rights and preserving due process for all players. It also brings me one step closer to getting back on the football field and playing the sport I love," Peterson said in a statement issued through his agency.

U.S. District Judge David Doty overruled league arbitrator Harold Henderson's December denial of Peterson's appeal of his suspension, which is supposed to last through at least April 15. Doty said the league can't retroactively apply the standards of its new, tougher personal conduct policy to something Peterson did before the policy was in place. The league suspended Peterson in November under the new standard, which arose from the furor over its handling of the Ray Rice domestic-abuse case.

The NFL has appealed the ruling to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. It also returned Peterson to the exempt list, on which he spent two months last season, pending completion of the process. The appeal could be heard in early June, clerk of court Michael Gans said.

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Dolphins: While the team continued to weigh its options regarding disgruntled receiver Mike Wallace, it parted with receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, who combined for 21 starts last year.

Cardinals: Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was released, a move that allows the former Seminole, 33, the chance to find out his market value before the free-agency signing period begins March 10. Dockett could wind up re-signing with Arizona, the only team for which he has played in his 11 seasons. He missed last season after tearing his right MCL in training camp. He was due to make $6.8 million next season, a figure that was too high for the Cardinals considering his age and that he is coming off a serious knee injury.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.