Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (12) looks to pass during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears Must Plan For Losing Josh McCown

Josh McCown was one of the key names the Chicago Bears knew they had to focus on heading into 2014.  However, as free agency revs up it’s becoming clear they may have to plan for life without him.

New York Jets like not only NFL team vying for veteran quarterback

Despite being 35-years old, McCown is coming off the best season he’s ever had as a pro, posting 1,800 passing yard, 14 total touchdowns and just one interception in relief of Jay Cutler for the Bears.  Such a showing was certain to draw interest from other teams who might be looking for short-term starting options as they look to groom a youngster.  Not surprisingly it didn’t take long for word to leak out that the New York Jets are on the list of those teams with interest.  They still aren’t completely sold on the ability of Geno Smith to be their long-term guy.  Bringing in McCown adds experience but more importantly competition to the equation.  Smith managed to survive Mark Sanchez but that was a different situation.  Make no mistake either.  New York is probably not the only team eyeing the veteran.  TampaBay and Oakland also may be looking for experienced options and have the money to spare while Chicago is flirting with the salary cap.  In other words if McCown gets a generous offer to go elsewhere, it’s unlikely the Bears will be able to match.

A.J. McCarron and Stephen Morris offer great project options

If that is the case then the need to find a new backup option rises on the priority list for Chicago, and it’s most likely they will seek it out in the NFL draft.  Ever since Marc Trestman took over last season the undercurrent has hinted at the need to draft a young developmental project for the “quarterback whisperer” as many call the Bears head coach.  Indeed his success at the position warrants attention in May.  However, given the far more pressing need to rebuild the defense will force the team to wait until at least the middle rounds before they can consider finding a project for Trestman.  If they are feeling rather aggressive they could pursue A.J. McCarron who likely won’t last beyond the third round.  The Alabama senior is smart, competitive, deceptively athletic with a good enough arm and the confidence to use it.  Or they could wait a little later and take a chance on somebody with physical upside.  A prime candidate is Stephen Morris out of Miami.  Physically he has the tool from the arm strength to the mobility and athleticism.  His issues lay with sporadic accuracy and inconsistent timing or rhythm.  Experts agree he has potential but need more polish and coaching, which is exactly what Trestman would provide.

The Chicago Bears don’t want to see Josh McCown go, but if he does they must make sure to have a contingency option ready.

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Tags: A.j. Mccarron Chicago Bears Josh McCown New York Jets Stephen Morris

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  • Big Swede

    Their plan… 1. Bring back Josh McCown… 2. See # 1…

    McCown has said on a radio interview that he wants to stay in Chicago. Remember… He was out of the NFL and coaching high school football when the Bears picked him off of the scrap heap and resurrected his NFL career. McCown is genuinely thankful and loyal and probably realizes that, personally, this is his best option for the remainder of his career.

    Emery wants him back. The Bears will be fair in their offer. While it may not be the highest money offer made, his family should be financially secure after 11 seasons as an NFL QB plus another million or more for this season.

    Josh would also receive the following:

    Consistency, confidence and comfort in his offensive playbook, his QB & head coach, his outstanding receivers and teammates, the Bears training camp and in-season football facilities and his familiarity with Chicago and it’s fan base that has warmly accepted him as their own.

    Nope… Josh McCown isn’t going anywhere.

    • Erik Lambert

      Remember this, Swede: Josh McCown has a family to think about. He has said he wants to stay in Chicago and that is likely true but he’s also a man who knows he won’t have many more opportunities to make a serious buck in the NFL. If another team makes a strong enough offer, he has the future of his wife and kids to think about. That money he’s already made isn’t as much as you think. We don’t know what his financial situation really is. The point is that he wants to stay in Chicago but if the Jets, Bucs or whoever comes with a strong enough offer he’s going to go. The Bears understand that and won’t begrudge him at all for doing so.

      • Big Swede

        You’re right… “We don’t know what his financial situation really is.”

        What DO we know, though?

        We KNOW he made $840,000+ last season and we KNOW that the NFL minimum for a 10yr veteran in 2014 is projected to be $955,000. Even just these two MINIMUM salary’s will total more than most American’s earn in A LIFETIME! And that doesn’t even count the OTHER 10 years of NFL salary he’s gotten.

        We KNOW that in December, he told Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times that “he’ll have to make the decision this off-season when he becomes a free agent, but retiring from the NFL is one option he’ll consider to spend more time with his wife, two sons and two daughters in North Carolina”. Since then, he’s obviously decided to play another season at least, but retiring from the NFL an option? Doesn’t sound like he’s in it for the money.

        We KNOW that he loves the Bears and Marc Trestman… “There’s not one thing about Chicago and the Bears that hasn’t been fun,” Natalie (McCown) said. “It’s been just such an experience for him. I’m very happy to see him happy, said his wife”

        We KNOW that he is a very high character family man. He has no “entourage” around him, he’s not a wild drug user or addicted gambler… in other words, he has likely not misspent the millions of dollars he’s already earned in the NFL.

        McCown is happy in Chicago and the Bears will pay him over $1,000,000 dollars this season to be a BACK-UP. He knows his role as a back-up on the Bears and embraces it. If he leaves, he’ll be in a new system, with a new coach and with unfamiliar receivers. Who know how quickly his current success could go south. In Trestman, he trusts.

        To me, it’s a no brainer… I repeat, Josh McCown isn’t going anywhere, mainly because he really doesn’t want to.

        • Erik Lambert

          It’s obvious I won’t move you off your spot, Big. But mark my words, even a veteran like Josh McCown has an ego. The allure of getting a chance to start somewhere one more time will be hard to resist, even in the short-term. The money will simply be the bonus. You can’t tell me playing as well as he did under the spotlight when Cutler was out won’t have an impact. That feeling is like nothing else and he might want it one more time, even for a different team.

          • Big Swede

            Erik, we agree to disagree. I think Josh McCown caught lightning in a bottle with the Bears this season, teaming with the best receiving tandem in the NFL, and a system under Marc Trestman that plays to his strengths. I’m sure that’s why the Bears brought him in to begin with… he was an ideal fit for the system at a bargain price.

            Without Trestman, Marshall, Jeffrey, Bennett, Forte and others, AND having to learn a NEW system, he’s probably more average.

          • Big Swede

            I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong, but I forgot Lovie Smith was back… Remember, the guy who doesn’t understand the offensive side of the line? Figures he’d drop $10 mil (Up to $15 mil with incentives) on McCown.

            Hey, good for Josh! Glad he’s getting the opportunity for the biggest payday of his life/career. I still don’t see him being as successful as last season, though.

          • Erik Lambert

            I don’t know. They’ve added some good pieces to that team. If they can get Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans I’d say Josh has a great chance to produce. It depends on whether Lovie will handcuff the situation.