Could ex-Bear be Cutler's backup?

Could ex-Bear be Cutler's backup?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:42

As efficient as G.M. Phil Emery has been at plugging leaks this off-season – offensive tackle, tight end and linebacker – another one sprang up Tuesday night, this time at quarterback.

The Browns signed last year’s veteran backup, Jason Campbell, to a two-year deal. In Cleveland, Campbell will have a much better chance of winning playing time from Brandon Weeden than he would from Jay Cutler had he re-signed with the Bears.

Good for Campbell. He had been a starter for most of the six years before he joined the Bears in 2012, and he’s still just 31 and still has the tools to start for some team -- just not the Bears.

Now the Bears have just one quarterback on the roster who’s played in an NFL game. Last year’s No. 3, Josh McCown, is also an unsigned unrestricted free agent. It won’t cost the Bears much to re-sign him, but McCown will be 34 before training camp starts, and he’s thrown just 61 passes in the past four seasons.

The only other quarterback on the roster is Lake Zurich High School’s Matt Blanchard, who spent most of last season on the practice squad after going undrafted out of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

So Emery needs to find another reliable backup for Cutler, who missed just one game last season but six the year before.

There are a lot of free-agent quarterbacks available, just not a lot of good ones.

There’s Kevin Kolb, a monumental failure in Arizona; and his former teammate, restricted free agent Brian Hoyer, a career backup. Then there’s ancient and immobile Charlie Batch (38); fat and immobile Byron Leftwich and totally uninspiring Kellen Clemens and Tyler Thigpen.

Hey, what about Rex Grossman?

The Bears could do worse. He threw 16 TD passes in 13 games in 2011, just 3 TDs less than Cutler threw in 15 games last season.

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