As it stands right now, the Bears have a shaky situation brewing behind starting quarterback Jay Cutler.
Jordan Palmer and practice squad man Jerrod Johnson are the two loan arms on the depth chart behind Cutler.
Josh McCown did a phenomenal job in spot duty with Cutler out of action last season, but in previous years the backup spot was ignored. Jason Campbell, Caleb Hanie, Todd Collins were part of the problem.
With the 2014 NFL Draft only a week away, starting on Thursday, May 8th the Bears need to figure out what exactly their plan in terms of a backup quarterback.
The quarterback market was thin this off-season with McCown, Michael Vick and draft busts Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman being the best available options.
After the draft more veterans will come available due to cuts and teams needing salary cap space. That is likely where the Bears will find their man.
General manager Phil Emery made this statement last month during a press conference that introduced defensive lineman Lamarr Houston and safety Ryan Mundy.
“Obviously, we’re going to look at the draft for an opportunity to add to our quarterback roster, and at some point, we’ll probably bring in a bunch of veterans after this wave of free agency — the first and second — and take a look at who’s still looking for an opportunity,” he said.
The Bears know they have to find a viable option behind Culter. Someone steady, who has the experience to come in much like McCown did last season.
The situation is perfect for a veteran to come behind Cutler because the offensive line is coming off a solid season. The line allowed only 19 sacks of Cutler, the lowest amount in his five years since coming to the team in 2009.
The wide receiver tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery is scary good as well as the pass-catching tight end Martellus Bennett. With the versatility out of the backfield in Matt Forte that adds another dimension to an already high-flying offense in the making.
Cutler has missed 13 games due to injury in his time with the Bears. His only full 16 game season came in 2009 when he was running the offense under Ron Turner’s watch.
Cutler has been banged up and bruised in years’ past due to bad offensive lines, dreadful receiving cores and unimaginative offensive coordinators.
Emery and Co. knows that this position is important, but with limited cap space the Bears have to be smart where they invest there remaining dollars.
The wait and see approach that Emery is looking for after the draft might be the smartest move they could make at finding that veteran guy.
McCown was a journeyman. Clearly Trestman can make someone with little talent like McCown a very good quarterback in this league. Palmer isn’t the answer and shouldn’t be anything more than a No. 3 on any team in the NFL.
Here is a list of rookies who the Bears could look at in the draft and what round they could be selected in:
AJ McCarron, Alabama, 3-5
Aaron Murray, Georgia, 3-5
Tajh Boyd, Clemson, 4-6
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, 4-6
David Fales, San Jose State; 7 or undrafted
Conner Shaw, South Carolina; undrafted
Stephen Morris, Miami (Fla.); undrafted
A guy like McCarron or Murray would certainly help tremendously as they’ve both flashed plenty of potential at the collegiate level. Tajh Boyd and Logan Thomas had their moments, but could benefit from a couple of years on the bench.
It all comes down to a roster spot. Do the Bears want to find a guy who will come in right away and compete for the No. 2 spot?
Ideally yes, but they may have to reach for that player in the draft with so many teams needing quarterbacks year in and year out.
We will soon find out what Emery and Co. has planned for this position. Either way it has been proven plenty over the past couple of seasons that you can’t have enough good quarterbacks.
The Bears need a talent behind Cutler especially if they hope to make a deep run this season.
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