Josh McCown’s U.S. tour not helping Bears’ chances of re-signing him
BY ADAM L. JAHNS AND PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporters March 11, 2014 10:49PM
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 01: Josh McCown #15 of the Chicago Bears on the line against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 01, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Updated: March 12, 2014 12:16AM
Josh McCown has become a traveling man — and that doesn’t exactly bode well for the Bears’ chances of retaining their highly sought-after backup quarterback.
McCown’s search for the ideal situation at this point in his career took him to Tampa Bay, where former Bears coach Lovie Smith is looking for a veteran quarterback, on Tuesday night.
Stops in Houston and New York are next on his itinerary, a source said, if he continues looking.
McCown has talked about taking a methodical approach to free agency, analyzing each individual situation and thoroughly considering every angle.
And while he appreciates everything about the Bears, the opportunity to be a starter —not to mention lucrative offers others can give him — might be too difficult to pass up at 34 years old.
“If that’s the case — if it’s in the cards to leave the Bears — I feel like there’s a level and a standard I learned this past season playing for coach (Marc) Trestman that will help me throughout the rest of my career,” he told SiriusXM Radio Tuesday.
Trestman stressed at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Bears would do everything they could to keep McCown, who made $865,000 in 2013 and is looking at considerable raise.
The Bears not only valued his play on the field in place of an injured Jay Cutler, which included a 109.0 passer rating last season, but also his close connection with the starter and his impact in the locker room.
The Bears, though, may be unable to compete with the outside offers — and they can’t promise playing time after Cutler signed a contract extension in January.
Bears add three
Moving to rejuvenate their special teams and add depth to their depleted defense, the Bears re-signed linebacker D.J. Williams and added safety Ryan Mundy and linebacker Jordan Senn.
Williams signed a one-year deal for $1.5 million with $100,000 guaranteed, and is the favorite to win the team’s starting middle linebacker job. Jon Bostic — who started for Williams after he tore his left pectoral tendon in Week 6 — will also take turns at the strong side.
Signed to a two-year contract, Mundy, 29, has started only 14 of 80 games in his career, which began in 2009 with the Steelers.
Mundy started a career-high nine games and made a career-high 70 tackles with the Giants last year, and will provide competition at a spot that doesn’t figure to include likely departure Major Wright.
Senn, 29, is will make $795,000 on a 1-year pact. The special-teams wiz captained the Panthers’ unit two years ago and posted four tackles last year for Carolina. Senn and could fill the role once occupied by free agent Blake Costanzo.
Tillman to Tampa, too?
On his first day of free agency, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman visited the Buccaneers, per reports. Tampa is expected to either release or trade cornerback Darrelle Revis on Wednesday, when he has a $1.5 million roster bonus due.
However, the Buccaneers signed Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner late Tuesday, making a Tillman signing less likely.
The Bears’ interest in his Tillman’s return remains strong.
This and that
Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton and Dallas have mutual interest, the Cowboys’ web site reported Tuesday night.
• Continuing a possible Tampa Bay pipeline, returner Devin Hester was linked to the Buccaneers on Tuesday.