A former number one pick is getting one last shot. Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch, who was the number one pick in the 1999 draft, signed on Sunday with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The signing is for two seasons, and Couch will play for the veteran minimum of $595,000 if he makes the final roster. Couch has not played in the NFL since the preseason of 2004, when he was with the Packers – and was awful.
Couch had surgery on his throwing arm last season, but nevertheless Jags coach Jack Del Rio wanted another QB for camp after Quinn Gray went down with an ankle injury. The team also has David Garrard, undrafted rookie Lester Ricard. All three will compete to be the main backup for starter Byron Leftwich, who is entering the final year of his contract. There has been much talk about the QB position in Jacksonville, and there seemed to be an underlying tone that the team was going to go after former Dolphin and Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper, but instead went with Couch.
“We plan on throwing the ball in this camp and we’re a little short at that position with Quinn down, so we’ve added a fourth quarterback,” Del Rio said. “At some point, Quinn will get healthy and we’ll deal with the numbers. At this point, we’ve added an experienced quarterback to come in and give us an opportunity to throw the football like we need to in this camp.”
In his career, Couch was played in 62 games with the Browns, completing 59.8 percent of his passes for 11,131 yards with 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions. After losing the starting QB battle with Kelly Holcomb before the 2003 season, he left after that season and went to Green Bay to try and be the backup to Brett Favre. Instead he was terrible in the preseason and didn’t make the final roster. “He’s got an opportunity like anybody else in camp,” Del Rio said. “His first opportunity is to make the football team. We’re not setting anything out in terms of drama. You guys make it as dramatic as you like. We’ve got 86 guys in camp. He’s one of 86.”