Holcomb injury reduces Cleveland's options

Kelly Holcomb's injury and Tim Couch's contract may force the Browns to take a serious look at Drew Henson.

Updated: February 18, 2004, 11:45 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Drew Henson's retirement from baseball and return to football has created a buzz throughout the league, and several teams are scrambling to try and trade for the promising Houston Texans quarterback. Though the Browns weren't thought to be one of those teams, recent incidents may force the team to rethink their level of interest.

When vice president of player personnel Pete Garcia and quarterbacks coach Steve Hagen went to watch Henson work out for representatives of 20 teams, the company line was they were just there because they study all of the good prospects and there was a chance he could be available in the draft if a trade is not reached. But that was before backup Kelly Holcomb had surgery on his throwing shoulder.

There goes Plan B. The Browns were cautiously confident they could get Tim Couch to take a massive pay cut to return as the starter next season. If that strategy failed and Couch had to be released, their fallback plan was to give the job to Holcomb, who has one more year left on his current deal. But the surgery to repair his torn labrum will keep him shelved for four to six months.