On a frigid morning in January, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Josh McNary was painting his new home.
The Browns’ new $150 million facility at the old Cleveland Clinic was being built at the height of McNary’s career, a time when many quarterbacks were learning to throw with precision from coaches and trainers.
McNary had just signed a five-year, $50 million contract and was preparing to start the second half of his five-day, three-day contract.
He had a paint brush and a palette to get his touch-ups up and running.
His job: Paint the new home, which was built on the site of an old hospital.
The Browns were not going to be a contender in the AFC South this season, but McNary wanted to help make the Browns an elite squad.
In his first three seasons, McNary had amassed more than 1,500 yards passing, 1,000 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on the ground.
McNary also had two 1,600-yard rushing seasons with the Broncos, a team he joined in 2015.
But it was McNary who became the most recognizable face in Cleveland sports when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round in 2015 out of North Carolina State.
The team, desperate for a veteran quarterback, turned to McNary in the third round in 2017.
The former Panthers quarterback was coming off a season in which he was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and led the Browns to the AFC Championship Game, but his performance didn’t make it to the top 10 of the voting in the first round.
He was selected 15th overall by the Dallas Cowboys, where he was the starting quarterback for two games and threw two touchdown passes.
But McNary never got a chance to start in Dallas.
His first start came in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he had just completed his first pass of the game.
The Cowboys lost, 29-17.
In the second quarter, the Cowboys were in desperate need of a win and needed to win quickly.
McNay took a deep pass down the sideline and scrambled to his right, but he was tackled for a safety.
McDonald was then carted off the field, with a team spokesman telling the Associated Press that McNary “did not need any additional treatment and is doing well.”
The Cowboys later announced that he had undergone surgery and was expected to be out at least three months.
The team has since released McNary, and the Browns are expected to keep him on their roster for the remainder of the season.
But if McNary is back with the team, it will likely be for a much shorter period of time.
McNeil has played in only six games this season because of the surgery and has one rushing touchdown.
He has averaged 8.9 yards per carry on the season, and his two touchdown carries were his most productive of the year.
But the Browns also have a new quarterback, rookie Johnny Manziel, who started the final five games of the 2016 season and has had mixed results.
The former University of Mississippi quarterback has rushed for 733 yards and four touchdowns.
The other nine games have been decided by scores of 17-17 or less.
He completed 31 of 43 passes for 330 yards with three interceptions and a touchdown.
McGough and the team will start Manziel on Sunday in Dallas, and there are questions about how much impact McNary will make as the starter.
McNeal played the majority of his career for the Panthers, and he has one more season left on his deal.
He also had four years remaining on a five year, $42 million contract.
McNichary has also played for the Carolina Panthers.
He began his NFL career as a free agent in 2007 and was signed by the Carolina Jaguars.
He spent two seasons in Jacksonville before being cut in 2010.
McNeill is the only player from the Browns’ first 53-man roster to make the playoffs.