Brett Basanez Leaves Panthers' Practice Squad To Sign with Bears

Austin PennyAnalyst IFebruary 4, 2009

The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Brett Basanez to a two-year deal on Tuesday. Basanez has been with the Carolina Panthers since he came into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2006. 

In 2006, Basanez entered one game when starter Jake Delhomme was out with a thumb injury, and his backup, Chris Weinke, was temporarily sidelined with an injury of his own.  He completed six of 11 passes for 56 yards and looked rather impressive, but did throw an interception.

Basanez joins Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, and Caleb Hanie as the quarterbacks for Chicago. With all of the questions surrounding the Bears' quarterback play in the last couple of seasons, Basanez has an outside chance to compete for a second string job.

You may wonder why I'm writing a piece about a practice squad member leaving the Panthers. My answer to that is simple: I see promise in Basanez. 

I remember watching him at Northwestern a few years ago where he smashed school records for passing yards (10,580), total offense (11,576), completions (913), and tied the mark for touchdown passes (44).

Basanez suffered a season-ending wrist injury in the 2007 preseason, which proved to be severely ironic as he entered the season as the third string quarterback behind David Carr.

We all know what happened under center in 2007 in Carolina.  Delhomme went out in Week Three and Carr, unfortunately, took over. 

Carr would eventually be lost with an injury, and the Panthers tested the waters with veteran Vinnie Testaverde and another undrafted guy in Matt Moore.  Moore showed the most potential during the quarterback carousel in 2007, and is still considered to be the Panthers' quarterback of the future.

Basanez would have been the heir to the throne after Carr went down, and would have negated the need for a pick-up like Testaverde.  Basanez had a strong preseason in 2007 and was clearly making progress before the injury.

So, Bears fans, don't write this off as a meaningless addition to your squad.  The fact that they gave him a two-year deal this early in the offseason, and straight off of a practice squad, shows that the scouts in Chicago see something similar, and are jumping at the opportunity to scoop him up before anybody else becomes wise.

If given the chance, I wouldn't be surprised if Basanez makes an impact in the NFL.