Josh McCown inks 3-year deal

Veteran quarterback Josh McCown has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns, the team announced Friday.

The deal is for three years, a source told ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

"Josh is your consummate professional," Cleveland general manager Ray 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, 35, went 1-10 as a starter last season in Tampa Bay before he was released this month. He started seven games the previous five seasons, and has played for the Cardinals, Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Bears and Bucs in a 12-year career.

McCown also had visited the Bills, Jets and Bears. He had been negotiating with the Browns and Bills.

McCown is the first step for the Browns toward resolving their uncertain quarterback situation.

Brian Hoyer is headed to free agency, and last year's first-round pick, Johnny Manziel, is in rehab.

"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 completed 184 of 327 passes for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for Tampa Bay, but the veteran has shown success as a starter, throwing 13 touchdowns and just one interception for the Bears in 2013.

He started nine games for the Raiders in 2007, when new Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo coached their quarterbacks. The two still have a good relationship.

McCown wants to compete for the starting job but would be willing to accept the backup role.

"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 (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."

Hoyer, who won seven games for Cleveland in 2014 but faltered late in the year, had been waiting to meet with Farmer before talks began between the team and his representative. A team official reached out to Hoyer in January to express interest in re-signing the quarterback, but that seems unlikely to happen now. Pettine called Hoyer to let him know of McCown's agreement a few minutes before the team announced the move. Hoyer and Farmer talked after the news was public.

A possible Browns quarterback lineup in 2015 is McCown, Manziel, Connor Shaw and an upcoming draft pick, likely in the second round or later.

McCown said Friday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he's "thrilled" to work with Manziel and Shaw.

"Just life in general is too short to go through it alone or just looking out for yourself all the time," he said. "So if you can give up yourself to others to help someone else in their journey, I just think you'll find so much more peace in life. So that's my approach when I head into a quarterback room. It's just what can I give back to the guys around me to help us be better? Because ultimately it's going to help our team.

"Johnny is a person, and every person that I come across has value to me and they matter, and so I want to help him as much as I can with all parts of it, but to grow as a person and as a player and to help him go on and have a fruitful career."

People in NFL circles believe the Browns also were intrigued by trade options such as Rams starter Sam Bradford or another Bucs quarterback, Mike Glennon. But it's uncertain whether they could have pulled off trades for those players.

McCown's younger brother, Luke, played for the Browns in 2004 -- one of 22 starting quarterbacks the Browns have used since 1999.

ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler and The Associated Press contributed to this report.