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With Low Tender on Hanie, Who's #2?

Is Caleb Hanie the Bears' backup QB? (photo courtest of Getty)

The Bears have been taking care of some loose ends including issuing a low tender offer on backup Caleb Hanie.  You remember him, right?  He was the Bears’ third string QB who nearly led them back in the NFC Championship game.   He was the third stringer who, unlike second stringer Todd Collins could actually, um, I don’t know, play professional football.

With a $1.2 million tender, the Bears get the right of first refusal on any contract offers that Hanie might get if and when the league resumes business as usual.  For a mere $800k more, the Bears could have assured themselves a 2nd round pick if they decided not to match any offers.  Following a strong performance in a high visibility game like the NFC Championship, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hanie drew some interest on the open market.

Further compounding to the questions, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz was less than convincing when asked about Hanie’s status as the Bears backup.  Check this out:

“I don’t know. We will see,” Martz said from the NFL scouting combine. “We don’t have to worry about any of that right now.”

That’s the kind of answer I give my wife if she asks me if I want to go shopping or some crap like that.  Not exactly a glowing endorsement of Hanie.  It’s not a big surprise, Martz wants a veteran guy.  With Collins on the way out and an opening for another quarterback on the Bears roster, we’re left to ask, who’s #2?  Let’s see who else is out there on the veteran free agent market that might be of interest to the Bears as a backup:

Marc Bulger (BAL)
Todd Collins (CHI)
Caleb Hanie (CHI)
Brady Quinn (DEN)
Drew Stanton (DET)
Trent Edwards (JAC)
Luke McCown (JAC)
Brodie Croyle (KC)
Chad Pennington (MIA)
Tyler Thigpen (MIA)
Tarvaris Jackson (MIN)
Jim Sorgi (NYG)
Kellen Clemens (NYJ)
Kyle Boller (OAK)
Bruce Gradkowski (OAK)
Dennis Dixon (PIT)
Billy Volek (SD)
Troy Smith (SF)
Kerry Collins (TEN)
Rex Grossman (WAS)

Can you imagine Grossman coming back as Jay Cutler’s backup?  Double the interceptions, double the fun!

Seriously, don’t be surprised if Martz makes a push for Marc Bulger.  Luke McCown has always been a Jerry Angelo favorite, so he might be a possibility.

Who should the Bears target to add to the quarterback mix?  Should Hanie be the #2?  These are the questions to be answered in the Comments.

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