Couch now free to sign with any team

The Cleveland Browns finally brought an end to the Tim Couch saga by releasing him Wednesday, according to his agent, Tom Condon of IMG.

Couch had been told to stay away from the Browns headquarters until the team work out a trade with the Packers or another team. Without a place to work out to prepare for the season, Couch filed a grievance through the NFL Players Association.

In the end, it didn't make sense to have Couch in Florida working out on his own if the Browns were going to keep him as Jeff Garcia's backup. It also didn't make sense to keep his $7.6 million salary if he wasn't wanted.

So on Wednesday, both sides parted ways, making Couch a free agent available to any team.

For two months, Couch has been negotiating with the Packers, the only team willing to trade a draft choice to Browns to acquire him to be Brett Favre's backup. Now, Couch can negotiate with any team he wishes.

The 6-foot-4, 227-pound Couch was the first pick in the 1999 draft out of the University of Kentucky and was a starter for most of his five-year career in Cleveland.