A look at the state of the Bears’ quarterbacks as the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaches.
The Good: Jay Cutler signed a lucrative contract extension in the offseason to remain with the Bears for quite some time. While he remains one of the most polarizing athletes in both the city of Chicago and throughout the National Football League, Bears fans who dislike him cannot deny the success he had in the offense while healthy last season — not if they want any credibility for having watched games. In 11 games played last year, Cutler threw for 2,621 yards, 19 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions while being sacked only 19 times in leading one of the NFL’s best offenses. Extrapolated over a whole season, it would have been a solid campaign. And that was in Year 1 of the Marc Trestman regime. With another year under his belt, Cutler and the Bears ought to be even better.
The Bad: Josh McCown was a terrific team player in 2013. He was humble, supportive, knowledgeable, and accepted his role as the team’s primary backup quarterback. Most of all, he was “ready at a moment’s notice” and stepped in for Cutler when the starter went out with an injury, going on to play as well or better than most other starting quarterbacks in the league. That performance led McCown to rack in some big bucks from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, thus creating a void on the Bears’ depth chart. Exit McCown, step forward Jordan Palmer. Jordan, the brother of Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer, is the less heralded signal caller in the family. He hasn’t been able to find a home in the NFL in five seasons in the league. He showed a decent skill set in the preseason, and that, combined with what he has shown the team behind closed doors, was enough to give him a shot at being Cutler’s backup for the 2014 season. Could he have the same kind of success that McCown had last year if he is thrust into game action? That’s difficult to say, but it’s hard to imagine the Bears took a step forward at the position with the loss of McCown.