Bears want Josh McCown back in 2014

Bears want Josh McCown back in 2014
February 20, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Scott Krinch

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's no secret that the Bears would like to re-sign quarterback Josh McCown. Head coach Marc Trestman and McCown have been in communication since the 2013 season ended via weekly phone calls and text messages.

And Trestman indicated Bears general manager Phil Emery will do everything he can to bring McCown back to Chicago.

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"I talk to Josh pretty much weekly, or bi-weekly, I've talked to him two or three times anyways and I've texted with him," Trestman said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday. "He's in the loop into what's going on. I've just called him on a personal level just to catch up with him and see how he sees the league and what's going on.

"We just like to talk football. He knows exactly where he stands with us. I think he's going to take his time, see where things are at, when he's ready to say ‘I want to come back,' I know Phil's going to do everything he can and we're going to do everything can to make sure he is."

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The 34-year-old veteran quarterback had a career year for the Bears and is considered one of the top free agent quarterbacks on the open market. McCown can't re-sign with the Bears until March 11 because of the veteran minimum deal he signed with the club last offseason.

McCown finished with a 109.0 passer rating -- third highest in the NFL -- and accumulated 13 touchdowns to just one interception in eight appearances filling in for starter Jay Cutler, who battled injuries throughout last season.

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"We’ve all said we want Josh,” Trestman said. “We want him to be a part of our football team. We recognize how important he is not just as the backup quarterback but as an influence in our locker room. He’s a great leader. He’s great for our quarterback room as well, which is the most important room in the building.

“Josh has got the opportunity to look around. We want him to be able to do that. He deserves that right. I think Phil has said that, and we’ll see where this thing goes. But Josh is well aware about how we feel about him and that we’d like him back.”

The backup quarterback job had plagued the Bears for years until McCown provided a stable presence for the club in 2013. If McCown departs this offseason, the Bears will be looking elsewhere for a backup signal caller. Free agency is limited in quality QBs and Trestman wouldn't rule out the team looking at the NFL Draft for their answer.

"It's a process. We'll see where we are with the draft, we're going to evaluate all the quarterbacks that we think can play and we'll make decisions accordingly."