Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery expressed a comfort level with Jordan Palmer as the primary backup to Jay Cutler, but made it clear the club could be on the hunt for a developmental signal caller sometime next month during the NFL draft.
The club's current roster features Cutler, Palmer and Jerrod Johnson.
“As far as our team is concerned at backup quarterback, we like Jordan Palmer,” Emery said. “That's why we brought him back. He's a guy that fit in incredibly quick. He was a good influence in the room. He's got good intelligence. We want him to develop, and obviously the nice thing about Jordan is that, not only the experience of coming back here, but he has been a backup for a number of years in the league in Cincinnati. He has that experience. He knows what those responsibilities entail. We have a young, developmental player here [in Johnson]. Obviously, we're going to look at the draft for an opportunity to add to our quarterback roster, and at some point, we'll probably bring in a bunch of veterans after this wave of free agency -- the first and second -- and take a look at who's still looking for an opportunity.”
The Bears brought in veterans Josh Freeman and Adam Weber for workouts at Halas Hall, but opted to not sign either of them, and tryouts will likely continue all the way up to the start of training camp. Ideally, the Bears would like to acquire another signal caller in time to participate in the offseason program, organized team activities and minicamps so he can get acclimated to the system and hit the ground running once training camp kicks off.
Throughout the pre-draft process, the Bears have shown interest in Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Tajh Boyd of Clemson and Notre Dame's Tommy Rees. The club spent time with Boyd at the Senior Bowl, met with Lynch at the NFL combine and visited Rees' pro day in addition to bringing him in for a workout at Halas Hall.
The club likely won't use the No. 14 overall pick in the draft to address the quarterback position, but the Bears will certainly explore the possibility of adding to the position in the later rounds.
“We're going to evaluate all the quarterbacks that we think can play, and we'll make decisions accordingly,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said back in February at the combine. “Every quarterback room is different. At this point in time we're excited about the fact that we've got Jay in place, because Jay in place allows us to work and fill the work in a lot of different other areas to complete our football team, and we'll see how it goes. I've been in quarterback rooms where we've had a young player. I've been in quarterback rooms where we haven't. Again, it's whatever is best for the football team. If that player can be developed and help our football team now and in the future, I'm sure he'll be in the consideration.”
Here's a list of potential fits for the Bears. Keep in mind these aren't necessarily the top prospects of the class, but ones which might make the most sense for Chicago:
Five potential targets
Player School Projected Round
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois, 3
2. AJ McCarron, Alabama, 3-4
3. Aaron Murray, Georgia, 3-4
4. Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 4
5. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, 4-5
Position grade: B-