In his six years in Chicago, Rex Grossman went from being the franchise quarterback of the future to a goat, a Super Bowl quarterback to a backup, and Sexy Rexy to Rex “Gross”man.
Now it seems as if Grossman’s time in Chicago is done, as reports have shown the Houston Texans have signed the free-agent quarterback to battle for the backup spot with ex-NFC Norther’s Dan Orlovsky and longtime Brett Favre backup Craig Nall. They will all be competing to backup the Texan’s big 2008 free-agent signing Matt Schaub.
Although contract details were not present at the time of this article, it’s could be assumed that Grossman was cheap as his playing time has dwindled with the Bears since taking them to the Super Bowl in the 2006-07 season.
The question that I have about this move is why wouldn’t the Bears try to resign the disgruntled quarterback?
Did the Bears feel that it was time to part ways?
Did Grossman feel like he could still compete as a starter in the NFL (although beating out Schaub could be a difficult task)?
Or, were the Bears just that confident that second-year quarterback Caleb Hanie would be a serviceable backup?
All I know is that it pays to have someone in the system to backup your team, especially at such a high-profile position as quarterback.
Rex had six years in the Bears system, four of those with offensive coordinator Ron Turner. If there’s one thing to say about Grossman, it’s that he knows how to run the offense.
Hanie on the other hand, has showed promise in practices and in last year’s preseason, but most of that success has come against other teams’ third string or players that usually spend more time on the practice squad than suited up on Sundays.
In years past the Bears have always looked for veteran backups at the quarterback position, as shown by acquiring QB’s such as Brian Griese and Chris Chandler, but they may be trying to spark a youth movement with their ever-aging roster.
It is still early June, and Jerry Angelo still has time to make a move to acquire a veteran backup, but it looks as if this year’s free-agent pickings are slim (and Brett Basanez would be a reach to be anything more than a practice squad fixture).
If Angelo does end up going with a Cutler-Hanie-Basanez depth chart at the QB position, it could spell a rough year if anything happens to Cutler.
Grossman has had signs of being a very good quarterback (including being talked about in MVP discussions during the first seven weeks of the 2006-07 season), and could have been had at a cheap price (although who’s saying that he would have come back to Chicago).
My personal feeling is that Grossman will have a solid career as a serviceable backup, although he may gain the journeyman tag by the time his career is over.
I’m just hoping that this move (or lack thereof) won’t come back to bite the Bears in 2009.