Chicago Bears: Chad Henne

Four teams interested in QB Josh McCown

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
10:09
AM ET

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears free-agent quarterback Josh McCown told ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” that his representatives have held discussions with four teams in advance of the NFL’s free-agency period which opens at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

McCown declined to specifically name the interested parties, but the belief in league circles is that the Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and Houston Texans are the organizations making the strongest push the sign the 34-year old veteran quarterback.

McCown re-emphasized that if he left Chicago, his home for parts of the last three seasons, it would be to pursue a full-time starting quarterback opportunity.

“I’m not going to get in to who I talked to,” McCown said. “There is a window and there is legal tampering but there are some shades on that window so I don’t know out of respect to those teams if we want to get into that right now. We’ve talked to four teams. There have been good discussions. We’ll take those as they come and evaluate those situations.

"To leave Chicago, it will be a situation where I’m looking to compete to start or to start and be able to kind of grow more as a player. The only way as a player that you can do that is on the field. That will definitely be something that we are looking at. So we’ll see. We’ll see what opportunities come and where we are at tomorrow.”

McCown is expected to receive a significant bump in pay from the one-year, $840,000 veteran league minimum salary he received from the Bears last offseason that included a $25,000 signing bonus and $5,600 workout bonus for a total compensation package of $870,600.

That pales in comparison to the kind of money that exchanged hands last week at the quarterback position, when Chad Henne signed a two-year, $8 million ($4.5 million guaranteed) with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Matt Cassel inked a two-year, $10 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

McCown, who turns 35 in July, had a career year in 2013 when he completed 149 of 224 pass attempts for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. McCown, who appeared in eight games last season with five starts, finished the season as the NFL’s third highest-rated quarterback with a 109.0 passer-rating – the highest single-season quarterback rating in franchise history.

McCown set additional Bears all-time records with three straight 300-yard passing games, 36 completions in a single game versus the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 24 and an overall single-season completion percentage of 66.5.

McCown also had the best interception percentage in the NFL last year with one pick in 224 attempts (0.4 percent).

The Bears had an exclusive window to negotiate with McCown since the end of the regular season, but the club appears unwilling to set the market for a 34-year old quarterback after it signed starter Jay Cutler to a contract that contained $54 million in guarantees.

The Bears also agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran quarterback Jordan Palmer on Sunday.

Henne doubtful, Thigpen in line to start

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
8:06
PM ET
MIAMI -- Quarterback Chad Henne is listed as doubtful for Thursday night's game against Chicago, while two other Miami Dolphins starters are out because of injuries.

Read the entire story.

Henne misses Dolphins' only practice

November, 16, 2010
11/16/10
3:46
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- Quarterback Chad Henne is missing the Miami Dolphins' only practice in preparation for Thursday night's game against the Chicago Bears.

Read the entire story.

Bears still cautious of battered Dolphins

November, 15, 2010
11/15/10
7:13
PM ET


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- First impressions won’t lessen Chris Harris’ opinion of Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen, who appears set to start his first game of the season because of injuries to Chad Henne and Chad Pennington.

Tyler Thigpen
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireNew starter Tyler Thigpen threw 18 touchdown passes in 2008 despite starting in only 11 games.
A former Carolina Panther, Harris played against Thigpen in 2008, and remembers the quarterback -- then with the Kansas City Chiefs -- doing “a good job” in a 34-0 rout, which is precisely why the Bears won’t alter preparation in this short week for Thursday night’s matchup against a battered Dolphins squad poised to be led by a backup.

“It doesn’t change at all,” Harris said. “He’s a pretty good quarterback.”

It doesn’t matter that in the game Harris recalls, Thigpen -- in limited action -- actually completed 50 percent of his attempts on the way to achieving a passer rating of 59.2. It’s also inconsequential to Chicago that Miami’s top offensive lineman (left tackle Jake Long) and best pass rusher (outside linebacker Cameron Wake) are nursing injuries. Overall the Dolphins are expected to list in the neighborhood of nine or 10 players on this week’s injury report.

Conversely, the Bears appear to be arguably the NFL’s most injury-free team. With the possible exception of cornerback Zack Bowman -- who missed the last three games recovering from a sprained foot, yet practiced all last week -- every player on the roster is expected to be available for Thursday’s contest, which the club goes into with just one day of full-fledged practice.

“I can’t say enough about the health of our team,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “When you start the season out with a certain group, and for the most part we have those guys [still] playing. It’s a short week, but we should be in pretty good shape going in. They’re under the same circumstances we are. Both of us have to move on, and we’ll be ready to go Thursday.”

Certainly, the Bears seem better equipped.

Pennington was placed on injured reserve Monday night. He had recently won back his starting job from Henne, but suffered his fourth career shoulder injury just two plays into Miami’s 29-17 win Sunday over Tennessee.

Filling in for the injured starter, Henne hurt his left knee in the third quarter, which paved the way for Thigpen to enter. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano confirmed Pennington would be out for the year, but left the door open for a possible Henne return against the Bears. Miami also signed 31-year old veteran Patrick Ramsey on Monday as insurance.

As for Long, the left tackle dislocated a shoulder against the Titans. Although Long intends to play against the Bears, he hasn’t yet been cleared medically by the Dolphins’ doctors. Sparano expressed optimism Monday about Long’s availability for Thursday night’s game, saying “Jake’s a pretty tough guy.” Long has never missed a game in his two-plus seasons, but there’s a question as to whether he’ll be cleared medically. Center Joe Berger, meanwhile, also missed snaps against the Titans with an undisclosed injury.

That doesn’t mean the Bears expect the Dolphins to throw the ball less frequently.

“They did throw the ball around this past game [with Thigpen coming in],” Harris said. “We’re just going to prepare. The best thing about the defense we play [is that] it’s not complicated. We can [go without watching] a lick of film and go out there and be productive. It’s just pretty much reading your keys and reacting.”

On the other side of the ball, Wake -- who leads Miami with 8 sacks -- suffered a hip injury against the Titans, and is expected to be limited Tuesday at practice, but available for Thursday’s contest. Other more minor Dolphins injuries include safeties Chris Clemons (left knee), Yeremiah Bell (turf toe), and Tyrone Culver (ankle), and defensive end Kendall Langford (left ankle).

“It’s a challenge getting the body ready [to play two games in five days],” Bears center Olin Kreutz said. “But they’ve got the same thing.”

Only much worse.
Jeff Dickerson and Jurko enter the Bears chat room at 11 CT to talk about the Bears' convincing win over the Vikings and the quick turnaround with Thursday's game in Miami.

Click here to submit questions now and check back at 11.

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