Would Josh McCown Fit with the 2015 Chicago Bears?
Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
They don’t call them journeymen for nothing. Josh McCown has had an interesting journey in his career and that journey could have the veteran quarterback headed back to Chicago after he was unceremoniously cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday just 48 weeks after signing a 2-year contract with the Bucs.
Let’s establish one thing up front – Josh McCown is not the savior for the Chicago Bears. He isn’t going to swoop in and take the 5-11 Bears and turn them into a Super Bowl contender. This isn’t Peyton Manning. But given the Bears’ tenuous QB situation, McCown could offer a familiar, solid option to back up Jay Cutler or (gulp) start for a season if the Bears decide to go another direction with their quarterback position.
McCown is more than just familiar to Bears players and fans. He has ties with the new coaching staff as well. McCown served as a backup for Fox and the Carolina Panthers in 2008 and 2009. He even crossed paths with Adam Gase in Detriot while Gase as an offensive assistant in Lions and McCown was backing up John Kitna in 2006.
McCown and Jay Cutler certainly established a bond. When Cutler accepted the Brian Piccolo Award on McCown’s behalf, he raved about his teammate:
"“I’m honored to receive this award for him,” Cutler said. “My only regret is that I wish I would have met him earlier in life. It’s very rare to find a teammate that not only makes you a better player but also a better person."
We know McCown fit in with his other teammates so he’d be an instant hit in the locker room. But can he play? After a flash in the pan season with the Bears in 2013, McCown earned himself a monster $10M contract with Tampa. But out from under the protective shroud of Marc Trestman, McCown had an awful season with the Bucs. How awful? McCown went 184/327 for 2206 yards with 11 TD’s and 14 INT’s.
McCown contributed to the Bears’ win over the Bucs tossing a couple of interceptions and a key fumble in the second half as the Bears edged out 21-13 win over Lovie Smith’s Bucs.
The Bears don’t have a lot going for them at the quarterback position. Jimmy Clausen showed a little spark filling in for Cutler while Marc Trestman was busy throwing him under the bus, but Clausen isn’t an answer even in the short term. It would be nice to know what you have in David Fales, but Trestman didn’t feel it made sense to give him a look despite the tailspin season the Bears endured in 2014. In short, the Bears need a veteran backup and a young quarterback to groom to succeed Cutler whenever the Bears decide to give him the boot.
The Free Agent QB options for the Bears are not all that intriguing. When Jake Locker, Brian Hoyer and Marc Sanchez are the top names on the list, Josh McCown suddenly looks pretty darn good.
If McCown comes here, there will be a faction of Bears fans that will propel him to a starting role. I’m not sure I can handle that, especially if Cutler stays. McCown might make more sense heading to Baltimore to reunite with Marc Trestman, who mentored him to his greatest success.
What do you think? Would you like to see McCown back in a Bears uniform in 2015?