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Friday, December 2, 2011
Waive goodbye? Lovie likes his 3 QBs

By Michael C. Wright

Caleb Hanie
Lovie Smith said he's happy with Caleb Hanie and his two backups.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith offered a vote of confidence for his three quarterbacks on Friday, tempering speculation that the team would pick up Donovan McNabb off waivers.

But a source familiar with the situation said it could go either way.

"I like our quarterbacks we have here right now," Smith said, referring to starter Caleb Hanie and backups Josh McCown and Nathan Enderle. "I'm not gonna start talking about guys from the outside. That should be enough for you. We have three quarterbacks here we like.

The Vikings benched McNabb in October in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, leading to the veteran quarterback to request his release.

The Dallas Cowboys pulled out of contention for McNabb earlier Friday when coach Jason Garrett said they're going to stand pat at the quarterback position.

The Bears and the Cowboys put in waiver claims last week to acquire Kyle Orton, who eventually landed with the Kansas City Chiefs. With Orton unavailable, the Bears signed McCown as the primary backup quarterback.

McNabb, 35, played six games with the Vikings this season, posting a passer rating of 82.9 in addition to throwing for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns.

McNabb, a Chicago native, also lost his starting job with the Redskins in 2010 after performing ineffectively through the first 14 games. McNabb finished the season with a career-worst 77.1 passer rating, and threw 15 interceptions, which facilitated his trade to the Minnesota Vikings.

A 13-year veteran, McNabb, 35, has thrown for 37,276 yards and 234 touchdowns and a career passer rating of 85.6. He also helped the Philadelphia Eagles win five NFC East titles, played in five NFC title games, and led the Eagles to the Super Bowl to their first Super Bowl berth in 24 years back in 2005.

Approximately $1.6 million remains on McNabb's contract and any team awarded the quarterback would assume that salary over the last five weeks of the season.