Coaches and the front office almost always have company lines about their plans for a player but fans know better than to totally trust what they say. Colt McCoy is a valuable trade chip and a strong closing statement in the preseason could prove it to the Cleveland Browns.
Start against Chicago Bears is pivotal game of McCoy's NFL career
Anyone who says the fourth NFL preseason game doesn't matter isn't looking at the picture. Maybe to superstars and other veterans it's nothing more than a single series before sitting back on the bench to watch. It's far different though for the young players on the roster. Most will say it's focused on the battles between players on the roster bubble, those fighting for the fifth or sixth slot at wide receiver or fourth spot at safety. It's a spot fans won't care much about because those players rarely if ever see the field barring a rash of injuries. That is why special teams plays carry so much weight. However some of the teams in the league have a situation like Colt McCoy of the Cleveland Browns. While he sits firmly in place as the backup quarterback, a strong showing in the preseason finale is the perfect chance to "remind" other teams he knows how to play at a high level. He's done it all preseason. One last efficient night against the Chicago Bears and the Browns may have to pick up the phone on trade calls.
Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers may watch carefully
Two teams that may watch the game closely have very different reasons. The Green Bay Packers have league MVP Aaron Rodgers. They're in the market for a stable backup like McCoy. Their current option Graham Harrell hasn't looked good at all throughout the preseason and given the weaknesses of the Packers offensive line one good hit on Rodgers could ruin their season. The other team that should have interest is one McCoy would want to. The Arizona Cardinals likely have the most well-covered quarterback issues in the league. Neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton have grabbed the starting job through three preseason games. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt is faced with choosing the lesser of two evils unless something changes. McCoy makes sense on many levels mostly because of his play. He doesn't turn the ball over, is efficient with his passes and doesn't mind calling running plays to slow a game down. Add the fact he would throw to Larry Fitzgerald and first round pick Michael Floyd and it's hard believing Colt wouldn't jump at the chance to throw his hat in the Cardinals quarterback derby.
Colt McCoy won't face the real Chicago Bears in the fourth preseason game but that shouldn't matter. A strong showing will give the Browns enough leverage to talk trades with teams like the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. Such is why the end of the preseason matters.