Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

CBS: Source: Browns release quarterback Tim Couch


Recommended Posts

Source: Browns release quarterback Tim Couch

June 9, 2004


CLEVELAND -- Quarterback Tim Couch will be released after five stormy seasons with the Cleveland Browns, a league source told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Browns are set to cut the former No. 1 overall draft pick after a grievance Couch recently filed with the NFL Players Association against the team is resolved, the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Only paperwork is tying up the move, the source said.

Couch was the franchise's first selection as an expansion team in 1999, but his time with the Browns was marked by injuries, losing seasons and controversy.

Browns spokesman Todd Stewart said the team would not have any comment Wednesday. Coach Butch Davis will address the media when the Browns complete their quarterback school on Thursday.

Couch, who filed his grievance against the Browns after they banned him from working out at their training facility, was unavailable for comment.

Messages left for his agent, Tom Condon, were not immediately returned.

A few weeks ago, Davis said he had no plans to cut the 26-year-old Couch, who lost his starting job when the club signed free agent Jeff Garcia in March.

However, the Browns have decided to end their relationship with Couch a month before training camp opened, freeing him to sign with another NFL team.

Couch's $7.6 million salary for 2004 made it impossible for the Browns to keep him as a backup. Davis, who once predicted Couch would lead Cleveland to the Super Bowl, had been reluctant to release the quarterback, fearing he might sign with AFC North rival Baltimore.

However, the Ravens recently signed Kordell Stewart as a backup for Kyle Boller.

Couch could soon land with another team. Condon has had ongoing talks for the past two months with the Green Bay Packers about Couch joining them to be Brett Favre's backup.

Couch has passed for 11,131 yards and 64 touchdowns in 59 starts since the Browns tabbed the former Kentucky star as the first overall selection in 1999.

Following a 2003 season in which he lost his starting job to Kelly Holcomb in training camp, won it back and lost it again, Couch's future with the Browns became uncertain.

The club talked with Couch about restructuring his contract -- $15.6 million for 2004 and 2005 - but when he refused to take a nearly 60 percent pay cut, the Browns decided to go after Garcia, a three-time Pro Bowler with San Francisco.

Before Garcia signed, Couch had been working out at the team's training facility in Berea. Soon after, the Browns told Couch he was no longer welcome.

The Browns even cleaned out Couch's locker and removed his nameplate for their minicamp although he was still on their roster.

Couch had his best season in 2002 when he threw a career-high 18 TDs in 14 games while leading the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

However, that season was marked by an ugly incident in a home game against Baltimore when some Browns fans cheered as Couch was helped off the field with a concussion.

Couch tearfully and profanely lashed out at fans after the game.

"If fans don't like the way I'm playing or the way we're playing, they have a right to boo us or boo me," he said. "But to cheer when I got hurt, that's a whole other level with me. I don't agree with that at all."

Last season, Couch lost his job to Holcomb but got it back when Holcomb got hurt and then struggled.

Couch eventually started eight games, playing behind an offensive line ravaged by injuries. He couldn't spark the Browns, who lost five of their final six games and finished 5-11.

The Browns went a combined 5-27 in Couch's first two seasons under coach Chris Palmer, who was fired after the 2000 season and replaced by Davis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...