There have been plenty of rumors about Lovie Smith and the Bucs recruiting Bears free agents and today they finally got one. QB Josh McCown, who had the best season of his 11-year career under Marc Trestman and the Bears, has signed with the Bucs for 2 years and $10M. It’s hard to blame McCown for leaving since he will have a chance to start in Tampa, while he was slated to be Jay Cutler’s back-up in Chicago. He also probably got more money than the Bears were willing to offer. I will be rooting for McCown to succeed, but it will be interesting to see if McCown reverts back to the QB he was before working with Trestman. Lovie Smith and the Bucs probably aren’t done poaching talent from the Bears. CB Charles Tillman is visiting Tampa today and return man Devin Hester is rumored to be on the Bucs’ target list as well.
As far as the Bears are concerned, they are left with just Jordan Palmer as their backup QB behind Jay Cutler. I wrote about Palmer earlier this week but I admit that I’m a little worried about his ability to lead the Bears should something happen to Jay Cutler (as it seems to every year). The free agent market for back-up QBs is bleak. There are a few guys out there that would be interesting: Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, Matt Flynn. Those guys are most likely out of the Bears price range though. The backup options in their price range have some serious warts and limited upside but have all had more success than Jordan Palmer. Some realistic potential options include Josh Freeman, Shaun Hill, and Rex Grossman (Ha!). Of those choices I think Hill is the safest bet, while Freeman has the most upside. Let me know in the comments if there are any other back-up options you’d like to see the Bears go after.