Free agency is just over a week away and we’re taking a look at the Chicago Bears pending free agents to see who might make sense to bring back. Some of the biggest names were already brought back – Cutler, Jennings, Gould, Garza and Slauson – but there are still plenty of guys that don’t know where they’ll be next season. Besides looking at the guys based on their 2013 cap hit and guys who are drawing interest in the market and the next up is backup quarterback Josh McCown.
Josh McCown appeared in eight games for the Bears, with five starts in relief of Jay Cutler. McCown threw 13 TD’s with just one interception for a 109 QB rating while Cutler went for 19 TD’s with 12 picks. Cutler signed a monster $127 million contract while Bears fans expect McCown to resign for the veteran minimum.
McCown has been kicking around the league for twelve years, but 2013 was by far his most successful. Don’t forget, he was coaching high school football when the Bears first called him back in 2011 and then it was mostly because he knew Mike Martz’s system. How does a journeyman quarterback suddenly become one of the top passers in the league? Not even McCown himself has a clear answer:
“I don’t know why it came together at this point,” McCown told the Chicago Tribune. “Maybe it just took me 12 years to figure it all out. Or maybe I needed Coach (Marc) Trestman and Coach Cav (quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh) and Jay (Cutler) and all these receivers. I don’t know. I can’t explain all that. All I know is what happened.”
With Cutler being signed to a mega-deal, can the Bears really afford to pay more than the league minimum for a veteran backup? McCown would seem to see the writing on the wall, no matter how much he’d like to return to the comfort of the Bears:
“It’s hard to want to be anywhere else,” he said of the Bears. “But the balance of that, too, is our reality. This is probably going to be the last time I stand in free agency with this kind of leverage. So there’s an understanding of an opportunity here to gain some more resources both to take care of our family and to do more good with.”
“I have to be willing to go somewhere else, if that’s how it breaks.”