Over the Fourth of July, ProFootballTalk.com ran an article entitled “Colt McCoy: I want to finish what I started in Cleveland.” This is a slow time for football news, but McCoy still managed to work his way into the headlines again.
Two weeks ago, I commented on the hidden agenda within Colt’s public comments and how weary the Browns must be of them, so I won’t further analyze what he told the Abilene Reporter-News.
However, I’ve also often stated that McCoy’s brand has become disproportionate with his standing as a backup quarterback, that he’s too high profile for the trouble he’s become.
So on that issue, I’m going to conduct a little experiment:
Just how many times has McCoy’s name popped up on ProFootballTalk.com and how does the volume of his mention compare to other big-name NFL players?
April 26, 2012: Brandon Weeden lands in Cleveland – Starting with this article, posted after the first day of the NFL draft, Colt McCoy has been mentioned in 40 total PFT posts. That’s 40 posts over a span of 70 days, so they’re averaging better than a mention every other day.
Of those 40 articles, 15 of them mentioned Colt McCoy by name in the headline, meaning the piece is about him specifically (which is an important distinction when the name Peyton Manning could be slipped into virtually any NFL article whether it’s about him or not).
Some of the McCoy headline gems include:
- Pat Shurmur says no promises were made to Colt McCoy
- Browns should move on from McCoy
- Report: Brad McCoy’s comments sealed Colt’s fate in Cleveland
- McCoy expects a fair shot at the starting job
- Colt McCoy doesn’t think James Harrison hit was a cheap shot
- Browns should move McCoy ASAP
- Market for Colt McCoy speaks to market as much as McCoy
- Another member of Colt McCoy’s family questions the Browns
Now, PFT may have a soft spot for McCoy news, and he is essentially being linked within any national article about Brandon Weeden, the Browns, or concussions. Still, doesn’t this seem like an awful lot of run?
Well, let’s see – Over that same period of time since April 26, a PFT article headline has mentioned:
- Drew Brees, 47 times – He’s the biggest free agent in the sport with a legal dispute surrounding his contract negotiations. Not to mention he also plays for the New Orleans Saints.
- Jonathan Vilma, 42 times – Vilma will join coach Sean Peyton in serving a full-season suspension in a landmark ruling of the Saints’ Bountygate scandal.
- Tim Tebow, 38 times – We aren’t surprised, and now he’s in New York.
- Peyton Manning, 29 times – Future Hall of Famer who was a free agent target of half the NFL. There is also a lot to be said about his return from a neck injury, and his former team had the No. 1 pick in the draft.
- Scott Fujita, 16 times – Embroiled in the Bountygate scandal, Fujita is one of four players serving a suspension in 2012.
- Colt McCoy, 15 times
- Eli Manning, 14 times – All he did was win the Super Bowl for the second time and host Saturday Night Live. The fact that Colt McCoy is mentioned in more headlines than Eli is this debacle in a nutshell.
- Brandon Weeden, 12 times – Combined, he and McCoy have as much Google juice as Peyton freaking Manning.
- Ben Roethlisberger, 12 times – Mr. 13-1 against the Browns complained about his new offensive coordinator, claimed the 49ers targeted his ankle in a bounty-like manner, became a father, and graduated from college.
- Cam Newton, 11 times – Despite winning Rookie of the Year, half of his headline hits resulted from 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith calling the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft overrated.
- Joe Flacco, 10 times – Struggling to negotiate a new contract with the cash-strapped Ravens while calling himself the best quarterback in the league. Also undefeated against the Browns in his career.
- Tom Brady, 9 times – Lost his fifth trip to the Super Bowl, has a famous girlfriend, and was also linked to the NFL Players Association’s collusion lawsuit against the NFL and the new CBA. That, and he’s the most famous player in the NFL.
- Aaron Rodgers, 7 times – Recently voted the best player in the NFL, according to a vote of other players.
- Andy Dalton, 4 times – AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals starter and rookie Pro Bowler last season who is defending his arm strength this summer.
That is an impressive list of NFL players, albeit through an examination of one website’s material. It includes Super Bowl winners, commercial spokesmen, the biggest free agent in the history of the NFL, “Bountygate” participants, and Pro Bowlers.
News generated during the NFL’s offseason is naturally related to what’s going on off the field more often than what’s happening on it. Still, these are the biggest names in the league, and when it comes to off-the-field storylines, Colt McCoy’s impact is by far the most disproportionate to his relevance on the field.
The funny part is, if the Browns thought this was reason enough to cut their losses with McCoy and release him, that would create even more headlines.
UPDATE: 10 hours after this post, PFT posted a 16th article with Colt McCoy in the headline: “Colt McCoy doesn’t know whether he’ll get a fair shot at starting job“