Quarterback Kyle Orton was claimed by the struggling Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) today, so the Bears went to their second option, veteran quarterback Josh McCown.
McCown signed a one-year deal today almost immediately after the news came out that the Chiefs claimed Orton.
The Dallas Cowboys were another team believed to have put a claim in for Orton. With Jon Kitna hurting Dallas looked to get a veteran backup for Romo.
McCown played with the Mike Martz offense in 2006 in Detroit, so he has some familiarity with the offense, something that will help him and Caleb Hanie.
Jay Cutler will likely be on the sideline coaching Hanie up, but having an insurance policy like McCown who knows the offense isn’t a bad idea.
The Bears picked Todd Collins over McCown last season, when they signed a veteran quarterback, which looks to be a bad move in hindsight.
McCown was drafted in 2002 by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round out of Sam Houston State.
He spent four seasons with the Cardinals appearing in 33 games during that time throwing for over 5300 yards, 25 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.
He went on to play backup in Detroit (06′) and Carolina (08-10′), his last start in the NFL came in 2007 with Oakland where he started nine games.
He spent last season in the UFL with the Hartford Colonials. This off-season he was with the 49ers but was part of their final cuts.
The 32-year old quarterback has appeared in 47 games, posting a QB rating of 71.3, throwing for over 6500 yards, 35 touchdowns and 40 interceptions since coming into the NFL in 2002.
So, is McCown a good option off the bench for the Bears?
He is a fine backup in this situation. He will come in and be a mentor to Caleb Hanie.
Hopefully McCown won’t have to come into a game anytime soon.
Everything I’m hearing says Cutler will likely only be out four weeks after undergoing successful surgery today.
He is expected to start rehabbing in the next couple of days.
McCown will practice tomorrow and Friday and will likely be active on Sunday against his former team, the Oakland Raiders.
Orton returning to the Bears next year?
It is totally possible that the Bears could bring back Orton next off-season.
He wanted to return and the Bears wanted him back after his release from Denver yesterday.
So, it will be interesting to see if the Bears bring him in as the No. 2 behind Cutler next season.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.