The Browns have agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Josh McCown, general manager Ray Farmer announced Friday.
McCown, 35, spent the past season -- his 12th in the NFL -- with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he started 11 games.
"Josh is your consummate professional," Farmer said. "He's known to be a great guy in the locker room and will be great for the quarterback room. He knows how to get an entire offense on the same page and get a team to rally behind him. He has been exposed to a lot of different types of offenses and we think still has the drive and skill set to be a successful quarterback in this league.
"We are excited to get him and believe he will help continue to move us in the right direction and help us build the type of team that will bring winning football to Cleveland."
McCown said he's excited to step into an environment where he can simultaneously compete for a starting job while mentoring the Browns' young quarterbacks.
"I just want to serve our team and help everybody in that locker room, do my best to help everybody in the locker room be better at their job and they're going to help me, too. It's a two-way street," McCown said. "I'm just excited about coming in and being a part of a team.
"Year 1 was a solid first year for coach (Mike) Pettine, and to see the vision with what he's got going on is exciting to me. In my room, 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 added he's "going to compete at the best level I can to help our team get better."
"We're going to be good at running the football and playing defense and being smart with the football at quarterback," McCown said. "Those are the things I know are going to be stressed. Those are the things I'm going to be focused on as we compete.
"As a quarterback, it starts off with the offensive line. You look at the guys they have there, namely, Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, it's a rare opportunity. Between meeting with the coaches and having a good connection with Coach Pettine and the offensive coaches, and those pieces on offense, that's kind of what drove the ship for me."
McCown, who hails from Jacksonville, Texas, threw for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season for the Buccaneers. He missed five games with a thumb injury.
McCown thrived in 2013 when he was summoned to starting duty with the Chicago Bears. He accumulated the majority of his 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns over a stretch of five starts during the second half of the season. During a three-game stretch in late November and early December, he threw for 348 or more yards in each game and eight touchdowns overall.
"Josh is a high-character, savvy, veteran quarterback that has a lot to offer to our team," Pettine said. "When you hear from people that have been around Josh, they speak of the leadership qualities and the positive impact he has on a locker room. I really enjoyed spending time with him during his visit. He has great passion for playing the quarterback position and wants to show that he can still be successful in this league.
"Obviously, he is a quarterback that has been in a number of systems and he has worked with (Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) so there is some good familiarity between the two. We are excited to have him become part of our team and we look forward to him playing an important role in our offense."
A third-round pick in 2002, McCown spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, working primarily as a backup until 2004, when he started 13 games. McCown threw for a career-high 2,511 yards and 11 touchdowns that season and followed with six more starts in 2005.
After his time with the Cardinals, McCown spent a season apiece with Detroit (2006), Oakland (2007) and Carolina (2008). While he was with the Raiders, McCown worked under DeFilippo, who was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach at the time.
After a one-year stint with the UFL's Hartford Colonials, McCown returned to the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 before joining the Bears later that season.