The Bears will see Josh McCown next year, but in a Buccaneers jersey.
Last year’s backup quarterback signed a two-year deal with Lovie Smith and the Bucs on Wednesday, according to his agent Mike McCartney.
McCown will reportedly make $4.75 million in 2014 and $5.25 million in 2015.
“He should’ve been provided the opportunity to go look, which he did," Bears GM Phil Emery said Wednesday. "If there was some point where he said, 'these opportunities, I’d rather come back and work for the Bears, I know my role, I’m going to come back and be a backup because these opportunities aren’t what I’m looking for.' He found that opportunity, a heck of an opportunity, and I’m very happy for him.”
Tampa Bay was the first team that McCown visited in free agency. Last season, McCown threw 13 touchdowns and one interception, and had a passer rating of 109.0 in eight games and five starts.
The Bears wanted to keep McCown, and he expressed his interest in returning to Chicago, but the Buccaneers will give him an option to start. He will compete with second-year quarterback Mike Glennon.
"We all want to congratulate Josh. He has been provided with a great opportunity to be a starter down there in Tampa. We’re very happy for him and very proud for you him," Emery said. "Obviously, we look forward to competing against him on the field, but very happy for him that he has had this opportunity. That’s what I talked about post season about that Josh has earned the right and the respect to be given the opportunity to go and look, and he found that opportunity, and we’re very happy for him."
The Bears host the Buccaneers next season, and McCown may not be the only Bear to head southeast. Charles Tillman and Devin Hester are considered on the Bucs’ wish list.
On Sunday, the Bears re-signed Jordan Palmer, who was the No. 3 quarterback last season but will likely enter training camp as Jay Cutler’s backup.
News of Josh McCown's twp-year $10 million signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should surprise no one. McCown will get his chance to start in Tampa and should win the competition with second-year QB Mike Glennon, who may very well be the future in Tampa but did not show enough in the second half of last year to prove he is the present.
Bears fans should not despair. It is far more likely McCown is the player he was the first nine years of his NFL career with five teams other than the Bears than he was in his five starts in Chicago in 2013. I think the Bears waved the white flag on McCown when they announced the re-signing of Jordan Palmer last week and quite franklym with an entire offseason to prepare with Marc Trestman and Matt Cavanaugh, Palmer should be just as good an option as a backup for the Bears as McCown was.
What I'd worry about if I was McCown is he has now cast his lot with Lovie Smith who got the quarterback position and offense in general right with the Bears exactly how many times in his nine years here?