Chicago Bears: Brady Quinn

Bears free agency preview: Quarterbacks

January, 29, 2013
1/29/13
11:28
AM ET
Chase DanielDerick E. Hingle/US PresswireNew Bears offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer is familiar with Saints backup QB Chase Daniel.
There are two Chicago Bears quarterbacks under contract: Jay Cutler and Matt Blanchard. That will change at some point in the offseason when the Bears fill out the back end of the quarterback depth chart either via free agency or the draft.

The Bears could also decide to bring back one, or both of the veteran reserves they had at the end of last season in Jason Campbell and Josh McCown, both of whom are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents.

[+] EnlargeJason Campbell
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastA second year of Jason Campbell could be an option for the Bears.
The Bears signed Campbell to a one-year deal last offseason worth a total of $3.5 million ($2 million signing bonus, $1.4 million base salary, $100,000 workout bonus) in order to better protect themselves in the event Cutler missed any time due to injury, which he did.

Campbell took over for a concussed Cutler at the beginning of the second half of the Bears' home loss to the Houston Texans, then got the call to start the following game in San Francisco. The 49ers game was a debacle, but it's difficult to blame it all on Campbell, considering his two offensive tackles spent much of the night on their backs. Campbell finished the season completing 32-of-51 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 72.8, not exactly the kind of numbers that will excite teams in need of a starting quarterback, although it is possible Campbell could find a better opportunity and more playing time elsewhere in free agency.

But the laid back and reserved Campbell certainly did not make any enemies during his one-year stint in Chicago, so if the Bears decide they can't upgrade the No. 2 spot, another season with Campbell isn't a horrible option.

McCown brings tremendous value to a roster because of his personality, experience and willingness to impart his wisdom onto others. There is no doubt in my mind that McCown will be an NFL coach one day when his playing career is officially over. But with any veteran back-up, the issue always comes back to money. It is much more expensive to pay the veteran minimum to a guy like McCown with 10 accrued NFL seasons than it is to carry a younger player on your roster, even if it would be more beneficial to the team to keep the older player. McCown can also still play if necessary, which he showed last season in the preseason finale versus the Cleveland Browns.

If the Bears choose to add another veteran quarterback, not named Campbell or McCown, here are some of the options expected to be available in free agency, in no particular order.

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kevin Shaffer is a good person to ask about the Cleveland Browns' unsettled quarterback situation. A member of the Browns from 2006-08, Shaffer has first-hand knowledge of both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.



"D.A. [Anderson] has a great arm," Shaffer said. "He's a guy that is going to sit in the pocket and make a play.

"Brady is the type of guy who may move around a little bit. He's a strong kid and very athletic. He can't throw the ball quite as far or as hard [as Anderson], but he makes up for it in his athleticism. He can move around in the pocket a little bit, and is more of a mobile quarterback."



Cleveland ranks 31st in passing offense, averaging only 128.3 yards per game through the air. Both Anderson -- Sunday's starter -- and Quinn have struggled so badly that their combined quarterback rating is 46.0.

That's Jonathan Quinn bad.

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