Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (12) gets set during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Bears 54-11. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Chicago Bears Free Agents: Will Josh McCown Return?

Chicago Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown had a career year with the Bears during the 2013 season.

McCown was asked to step in for an injured Cutler during the Bears 2013 season and the backup quarterback excelled. While playing for an injured Cutler in 2013, McCown possessed a QBR of 85.1 to go along with a completion percentage of 66.5% while passing for 1,829 yards to go along with 13 touchdowns against only 1 interception.

A group of Bears fans were clamoring for McCown to be the Bears starting quarterback in 2014. Though with quarterback Jay Cutler signing a 7-year, $126 million contract extension with the Bears earlier this month, McCown would be resigned to a backup role if he were to return to Chicago in 2014.

While McCown admitted to being very comfortable in his role with the Bears, there is no question that the veteran quarterback may get starting consideration elsewhere. Along with starting consideration, there is no question that another team would likely throw more money in the direction of McCown than the Bears will offer. McCown made the veteran’s minimum with the Bears in 2013. Because of that fact, the Bears can not officially re-sign McCown until after the start of the new league year.

That restriction should not dictate whether or not McCown stays with the Bears.

The expectation from all accounts is that McCown will indeed return to the Bears in 2014. There is no better situation for the veteran backup quarterback. Cutler and McCown are supporters of one another, and McCown cherishes his role as the backup quarterback of the Bears. There is also no other system that perfectly matches McCown’s style than the system of head coach Marc Trestman. It makes too much sense for the McCown to return to the Bears for it not too happen.

The exception to that sentiment may be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is a reason why McCown has been the quarterback the Bears turned to in recent seasons when Cutler has been injured. That reason is Lovie Smith. When Smith was the head coach of the Bears, he brought McCown in during the 2011 season when Cutler went down with a thumb injury. Since then, McCown has been No. 1 on the Bears speed dial.

Smith is now the head coach in Tampa Bay. The starting quarterback of the Buccaneers is Mike Glennon. 2014 will be Glennon’s second year in the NFL. Smith may have interest in McCown as being a mentor to Glennon.

2013 certainly changed McCown’s career, but it also is the reason why it likely will not change his team.

Tags: Chicago Bears

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