Bears

An Angelo strength: Backup QBs

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An Angelo strength: Backup QBs

With Josh McCown expected to be named this week as the Bears game-15 starting quarterback (I just want to be available if they do call my number, just be ready to go, McCown said), the Bears are hoping that he proves to be a surprise continuation of a Bears pattern under GM Jerry Angelo.

There is in fact one position that Angelo has been consistent in addressing very well in his tenure as Bears general manager: Back-up quarterback.

Angelo arguably has had better luck solving the No. 2 spot than the No. 1 job.

The carnage of the four Caleb Hanie starts has obscured the fact that in the last decade, Angelo has regularly put pieces in place at the linchpin second-level position that have produced not only wins, but occasional playoffs. Angelo has had suspect results in the draft, but he has regularly assembled a roster with a proven veteran backup quarterback.

One primary personnel change over the past two years may account for the current QB problems. More on that later.

Consider (by offensive coordinator):

The John Shoop Time

2001 Starter: Shane Matthews Backup: Jim Miller
Matthews is injured in the week-two game against Minnesota. Miller leads the Bears to a 13-3 finish.

2002 Starter: Jim Miller Backup: Chris Chandler
Injuries throughout the offense and defense derail the season. Chandler, with injuries of his own, finishes 2-5 as a relief starter with a passer rating of nearly 80.

2003 Starter: Kordell Stewart Backup: Chandler, rookie No. 1 Rex Grossman
Behind an offensive line with Steve Edwards and Aaron Gibson at tackles, nothing at QB goes real well in a 7-9 season, Dick Jaurons last.

The Terry Shea Interlude

2004 Starter: Grossman Backups: Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel, Jonathan Quinn
Grossmans ruptured ACL in game three starts QB freefall. Quinn had played for Terry Shea. Krenzel a draft choice, Hutchinson never mind.

Enter: Ron Turner

2005 Starter: Grossman Backup: Kyle Orton
Grossman goes down early, rookie Orton operates down-sized offense of new coordinator Turner. Bears finish 11-5 and in the playoffs.

2006 Starter: Grossman Backups: Brian Griese, Orton
Even with Orton, Bears add Griese but Grossman stays healthy.

2007 Starter: Grossman Backups: Griese, Orton
Grossman starts three, gets hurt. Griese starts six, gets hurt. Grossman starts four, gets hurt. Orton goes 2-1 in final three.

2008 Starter: Orton Backup: Grossman
Orton starts 15, Grossman one. Orton tries to play through ankle injury, Bears come up a half-game short of playoffs.

2009 Starter: Jay Cutler Backup: Hanie
Turner and Cutler clash, QB struggles but stays healthy. Hanie mops up in Cincinnati, Baltimore blowouts.

The Martz Waltz

2010 Starter: Cutler Backups: Todd Collins, Hanie
Mike Martz lobbies through the offseason for a veteran backup, Bears bring Collins off the NFL shelf for 1 million, three relief nightmares. Hanie nearly salvages NFC Championship game.

2011 Starter: Cutler Backups: Hanie, McCown, Nathan Enderle
Martz OK with Hanie as No. 2, Cutler goes down vs. San Diego with Bears 7-3, assessment of Hanie turns out to be in error.

Trying a few things

McCown has been expected since Sunday to replace Hanie after the latters latest failure to get the offense into any sort of rhythm or state of momentum. Ironically, neither would be playing if Angelo had his way.

The Bears attempted to regain Orton after he was waived by the Denver Broncos; the Kansas City Chiefs claimed him first. A call had been made to former St. LouisBaltimore quarterback Marc Bulger, whod played for Martz but turned down the offer to come out of retirement.

The Bears also had looked at securing Matt Moore after he was let go by Carolina last year but Moore opted for the No. 2 job in Miami.

Raiders prepping to set the market for Tom Brady in free agency

Raiders prepping to set the market for Tom Brady in free agency

If the Bears have any interest in signing soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Tom Brady this offseason, they may have to be willing to commit beyond just the 2020 season for him.

According to longtime NFL writer Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., the Las Vegas Raiders are prepping to offer Brady a two-year, $60 million deal.

It's a steep price to pay regardless of Brady's resume largely because of his age; he'll be 43 at the start of next season. It's highly unlikely Ryan Pace would be interested in a multi-year deal for a player as close to the end as Brady, but the market will ultimately dictate what needs to be offered by teams who are serious about acquiring TB12.

If Brady wants to play beyond 2020 and is looking for a commitment from a team that extends into at least the 2021 season, his list of potential suitors is likely to shrink. But all it takes is one club willing to meet his asking price, and with Raiders coach Jon Gruden's affinity for established veteran quarterbacks, it seems like a logical match for both sides.

The Bears are expected to be aggressive in the quarterback market this offseason, whether it's via trade for someone like Bengals veteran Andy Dalton or in free agency with players like Marcus Mariota (Titans) and Teddy Bridgewater (Saints) presenting as attractive options.

Former second overall pick Mitch Trubisky has largely been a disappointment over his first three years in Chicago and is facing a make-or-break season in 2020. There's a chance he won't even begin training camp as the starter, depending on who the Bears court in free agency and the promises they make in order to sign him.

NFL free agency could be ‘potential chaos’ for available quarterbacks

NFL free agency could be ‘potential chaos’ for available quarterbacks

A plethora of NFL quarterbacks are set to hit the open market in the next few weeks in Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum.

With at least nine in-demand signal-callers, the NFL could see a quarterback shakeup unparalleled in recent NFL history. According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, there may be “more butts than seats.”

“In this looming game of quarterback musical chairs, I still don’t think we know whether when the music stops, there’s gonna be more butts than seats, or more seats than butts,” Florio said on NBC Sports’ PFT Live. “And there’s a chance that there’s gonna be a team that is left — because they wanted too long to have something lined up — they’re gonna be left looking around saying ‘Who the hell’s our quarterback for 2020?’”

Based on that list of quarterbacks, teams that could have a QB vacancy to fill this winter include the Patriots, Cowboys, Saints, Buccaneers, Chargers and Titans. There are nine quarterbacks on that list, though Mariota and Keenum may be viewed more as backups by prospective suitors. Therefore, you could have six teams in need of a quarterback and seven on the open market.

The former figure could increase if teams like the Bears or Raiders look to upgrade the quarterback position in free agency. In that case, perhaps there are more “chairs” than “butts” this offseason, meaning some teams may find themselves without a starting quarterback entering the NFL draft.

In that scenario, a team may be inclined to trade for a QB, such as Bengals’ Andy Dalton. How this chaotic situation plays out will determined in the coming weeks, but what’s already certain is this offseason’s free agency could be a frenzy.

“We’ve never had anything even close to this, by way of potential chaos for quarterbacks in free agency and really through the draft,” Florio said. “Who knows how it’s all gonna play out? There’s gonna be a major, major shakeup, potentially. It’s gonna be somewhere between nothing changes and complete and total chaos, but I think it’s gonna be closer to complete and total chaos.”