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Bears meet with former Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman

BENCH Josh Freeman QB Bucs vs. Saints

BENCH Josh Freeman, QB, Bucs vs. Saints

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Bears' Patrick Mannelly answers retirement question
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Updated: April 14, 2014 9:44PM

The Bears’ search for a veteran backup quarterback prompted them to meet Monday with Josh Freeman, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times.

Freeman, 26, was a first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns for them in 2012 and began last season as their starter before struggling and being released in October.

He started one game after signing with the Minnesota Vikings, completing 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with an interception Oct. 21 against the New York Giants. He suffered a concussion in that game and didn’t play the rest of the season.

The Bears have been looking for someone to compete with Jordan Palmer to be Jay Cutler’s backup since Josh McCown signed with the Buccaneers last month. Palmer has appeared in only one regular-season game since the end of the 2008 season.

The Bears also signed long snapper Chad Rempel, a 10-year Canadian Football League veteran, to a three-year contract. Under terms of the collective-bargaining agreement, all rookie deals are three years.

The addition of Rempel, who played two seasons for Bears coach Marc Trestman with the Montreal Alouettes, doesn’t mean the end of Patrick Mannelly’s career. Mannelly, the Bears’ all-time leader in games played, is rehabbing after having hip surgery in January and said Monday he hasn’t decided whether to continue his career.

Mannelly, who will be recognized as the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner Tuesday, said he would like to return if he’s healthy.

Meanwhile, safety Major Wright formally joined McCown with the Buccaneers. The Florida alum signed a one-year deal with former Bears coach Lovie Smith’s team, where he figures to be a backup.


Twitter: @patrickfinley

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