Buffalo Bills get older and better at QB with Josh McCown

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Thursday because the Bills do not discuss contract discussions.

The talks began after the 35-year-old spent the previous two days visiting with the Cleveland Browns. Two weeks ago, McCown spent two days meeting with Bills officials and touring Buffalo. He has also visited the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets.

Normally, the list of team visits is more than four per year, for Josh. This year, it took only one real stop to find some steady employment. The Chicago Bears were crossed out early because Josh has already served time in the Windy City from 2011-2013. Saying no to the Cleveland Browns wasn't very difficult, either. Text messages, new team colors, different colored facemasks, and a crowded and confusing QB situation made the Browns a casualty without much effort. Marking the New York Jets off the list as a contender was even easier.

Since 1996, 16 different starters have taken a snap from center for the Buffalo Bills. Legendary QB Jim Kelly left for the hall of fame, and for very brief stretches has the position been filled. "If you have three quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks." ... you actually have none." In 2013, it was E.J. Manuel, Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel. In 2009-2010, it was Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm. This past year was one of the better years with E.J. Manuel and veteran Kyle Orton. Kyle was so happy, he retired after leading the team to a 9-7 record.

New Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has joined the staff of first year head coach, Rex Ryan. Greg worked with Colin Kaepernick on the San Francisco 49ers, and has also worked with the well traveled Josh McCown in the past. Josh has also worked with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and quarterbacks coach David Lee. Familiarity trumps talent in the Bills' search for a serviceable starting QB.

Expectations are pretty low when the savior has a 17-32 record in 12 years as a starting NFL QB. In 2014 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh McCown threw for 2,026 yards, 11 TD's and 14 interceptions. In Buffalo, he is officially the opening day starter.

There have been five brother combinations who have been QB's in the NFL. The most successful set would be Peyton and Eli Manning. Others included: Brock and Damon Huard, Tim and Matt Hasselbeck, and Ty and Coy Detmer. The final pairing is the McCown brothers, Luke and Josh. Luke has played for five NFL teams, including the New Orleans Saints twice. Josh has made stops with eight teams, and Buffalo would make the ninth.

Just as the Buffalo Bills hope they have the right Ryan in Rex over Rob, the same holds true at QB with Josh over Luke. Then again, either McCown would be an upgrade over the 2014 starter, E.J. Manuel.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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