The Chicago Bears have re-signed quarterback Connor Shaw.
Now the Bears have two quarterbacks on their roster after agreeing to terms with exclusive rights free agent Connor Shaw. In about a week, Jay Cutler could be gone which would leave Shaw as the Bears only rostered quarterback.
It won’t be for long as the Bears are rumored to be targeting Mike Glennon in free agency, are also considering former Bears Brain Hoyer and Matt Barkley as bridge options, and will probably draft a quarterback at some point.
Shaw is a promising backup option at least. The coaching staff is supposedly high on him and he did play well in limited preseason snaps last year (11/16, 127 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) before suffering a broken leg.
HC John Fox went out of his way to praise Shaw after his injury and stated that he had a “bright future here”. The former undrafted free agent has more mobility than Barkley or Hoyer and showed good accuracy in college. At worst, Shaw gives the Bears a mobile option under center and a player they can continue to develop.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is familiar with Shaw from his time in Cleveland as the quarterback coach when the Browns signed Shaw as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
Shaw went undrafted in 2013 despite a successful career at South Carolina where he went 27-5 as a starter, threw for 6,074 yards, and had 56 TD passes with just 16 interceptions. His senior year he had an impressive 24-1 TD-INT ratio. Shaw also moves well for a QB with 1,683 rushing yards and 17 more TDs in his time with the Gamecocks.
The scouting report on Shaw coming out of college is that he’s a smart, gritty leader with pinpoint accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws who makes sound decisions. Shaw’s ability to scramble out of trouble and extend plays helps keep the chains moving.
He gets high marks for his leadership ability and doesn’t make many unforced errors. The knocks on Shaw are both his lack of size (6’1, 210) and lack of arm strength. At the 2013 combine, Shaw was the only QB in attendance not to break 50 MPH velocity on his throws.
Shaw should eventually have plenty of competition to earn a spot on the Bears roster, but he’s already impressed the coaches so may have a leg up on at least the 3rd quarterback role. He’s a severe longshot to win the starting job, but Shaw’s accuracy, sound decision-making, and scrambling ability brings something unique to the team and gives him at least a legitimate shot at sticking around on the roster for the 2017 season.
*The Bears have also re-signed long snapper Patrick Scales.