Given the structure of Chicago Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown‘s contract with the team last season, McCown can not officially sign a new deal with the Bears until after the start of the new league year. The new league year starts on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CST.
While both McCown and the Bears share an interest in the veteran quarterback returning to the team in 2014, that is not going to stop the quarterback from attempting to cash-in after having a career year in 2013.
While speaking with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio on Monday, McCown stated that at least four teams have expressed interest in his services.
“I’m not going to get in to who I talked to,” McCown said. “There is a window and there is legal tampering but there are some shades on that window so I don’t know out of respect to those teams if we want to get into that right now. We’ve talked to four teams. There have been good discussions. We’ll take those as they come and evaluate those situations. -Josh McCown, ESPN Chicago
McCown flourished with the Bears in 2013. While stepping in for an injured Jay Cutler last season, McCown posted a QBR of 85.1 to go along with 13 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. McCown also emerged as a leader in the Bears locker room and developed strong relationships with Cutler and head coach Marc Trestman. Meaning, money will not be the only reason that would keep McCown from returning to the Bears in 2014.
If McCown is going to leave the Bears, it will be because he has an opportunity that is not available to him with the Bears.
“To leave Chicago, it will be a situation where I’m looking to compete to start or to start and be able to kind of grow more as a player. The only way as a player that you can do that is on the field. That will definitely be something that we are looking at. So we’ll see. We’ll see what opportunities come and where we are at tomorrow.” -McCown, ESPN Chicago
Many Bears fans have expressed concern over the Bears losing McCown in free agency. The loss of McCown would not be as devastating as some believe it would be. Trestman has proved in his first season with the Bears that he is a quarterback whisperer. Meaning, the Bears may be better suited in letting McCown look for a starting opportunity elsewhere and then draft a young quarterback to develop.
McCown can officially sign a new contract on Tuesday.