The Bears Are Searching For a Backup Quarterback



The salary cap casualties continue for the Bears as they now find themselves in need of a backup quarterback. Earlier this week Jason Campbell {pictured above}, signed a two-year $3.75 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. This the the fourth franchise that Campbell will suit up for in his career.

Before the Bears, Campbell was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round and was their starter from 2005-2009. In 2010, Campbell was dealt to the Raiders after the Redskins brought in Donovan McNabb. Campbell started for Oakland in 2010, but a broken collarbone in 2011 ended his career in the black and silver.

The Bears pulled him off of the free agent market in 2012 and signed him to a one year contract. Heading into 2013, the Bears have been hit hard by the salary cap. This has caused the departure of numerous players from last season. Most notably linebacker Brian Urlacher and defensive back D.J. Moore.

Not only did the Bears have a rough time giving Campbell the contract he was looking for, the Browns are offering Campbell an opportunity to start. Once Cleveland put it’s new coaching staff in place for 2013, they said that last year’s starter Brandon Weeden would have to compete for the 2013 starting job.

So now Jason Campbell will have his first opportunity to start in the NFL in four seasons. So where do the Bears go from here? Jay Cutler is still the starting quarterback which is a good thing. Now the Bears need to find a backup and reorganize the depth chart. Matt Blanchard is still on the roster, and Josh McCown is still in the fold although he is a free agent.

Josh McCown has been with the Bears on and off since 2011. He was brought to the team after Jay Cutler went down with a season ending hand injury late in the 2011 season. He started the final two games that year and the Bears went 1-1 in that stretch. Last year, he competed with Matt Blanchard for the third string job in the preseason.

He was cut after the final preseason game, but was re-signed after Jay Cutler missed two games with a concussion. He would remain on the roster as the third string QB once Jay Cutler returned. The Bears made additional roster moves to make this possible. It is very likely that the Bears could re-sign him. As for Matt Blanchard….

Last year the Lake Zurich native was an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin-Whitewater. After putting up some surprising performances in the preseason, the Bears signed him to the practice squad. The Bears initially kept two quarterbacks on the roster until the addition of McCown.

But now Blanchard will have another opportunity to prove himself. But there is still the possibility the Bears could bring in another free agent quarterback or draft one. There are a number of quarterbacks still available on the market. This years NFL Draft isn’t rich with quarterbacks but there still are some prospects out there.

The Bears wont go quarterback in the first round, but there will still be some signal callers available in the later rounds. Perhaps the Bears could land Kansas State’s Collin Klein or Florida State’s E.J. Manuel. ┬áBut the bottom line is that new head coach Mark Trestman and general manager Phil Emery will have some challenges ahead of them as the salary cap has hit this team hard.

Saturday night I will be at Allstate Arena covering the Chicago Wolves game. They will take on their arch-rivals the Milwaukee Admirals with the puck dropping just after 7pm. You can follow me on Twitter for game updates @GabeSalgado82 #Q101Sports


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