In 2013, Josh McCown was able to transform himself from an average at best veteran backup in the NFL to earning himself a big contract for a guy set to turn 35 this July.
The Bears signed Jay Cutler to a long-term deal this offseason and because of being pressed up against the cap, re-signing McCown for that amount of money was just no feasible.
The team re-signed veteran Jordan Palmer to a one-year deal earlier this offseason, via CSNChicago.com, and currently have second-year man Jerrod Johnson on their roster but they could still be in the market for a free-agent backup.
At the NFL owner's meetings down in Florida last month, head coach Marc Trestman praised Palmer, telling the media, via the Chicago Tribune:
We give Jordan a lot of credit. He literally learned the offense on his own because we didn’t have time to work daily with him. He worked. He worked overtime and he learned the offense and came in and played admirably in the preseason. He moved the football team and was very sufficient.
Palmer has appeared in just four games in his career, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, going 10-of-15 for 59 yards and throwing two interceptions.
Trestman outlined what he wants from his No. 2 quarterback, telling the media, via the Chicago Tribune:
He has to be extremely good in the meeting room, because that meeting room is the most important office in that building. Everything is controlled by the energy in that room and the camaraderie in that room and the karma in that room. So he has to be that guy. That’s really the most important thing. And if he’s doing that, he’s certainly going to be good in the locker room. The guys in that meeting room, in my opinion, have to be locker room guys. They have to be leaders. So that’s what we’re looking for.
The team could still look to the veteran free agent market to find a quarterback that can compete with Palmer for the No. 2 spot but the list of available free agents is less than stellar. Jimmy Clausen, Rex Grossman, Kevin Kolb and Colt McCoy are just a few of the quarterbacks available and while they may not instill confidence, Trestman proved in one year he could make McCown a more than serviceable backup.
If the team feels Palmer is a perfect fit and more than capable as their backup, the draft is full of talented quarterbacks, such as Georgia's Aaron Murray and Wyoming's Brett Smith, who could be available in the later rounds of the draft.