The topic of backup quarterback Josh McCown elicited the type of smile from starter Jay Cutler that only good friends can muster for each other. It was pleasant, a bit mischievous and sincere.

‘‘I’d like to see him come back,’’ Cutler said.

And Cutler getting a seven-year deal from the Bears won’t prevent that from happening. In a way, it might help to facilitate it.

‘‘There was talk about him retiring and there was talk about him getting other opportunities, and I think rightfully so,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘We’ve had candid talks about what he wants to do. I’ll let Josh address that when he wants to. I know we’d love to have him back.’’

McCown’s exceptional play — a 3-2 record in five starts, a 109 passer rating, a 66.5 completion percentage and 13 touchdowns against one interception — in place of an injured Cutler opened eyes across the league. He might be one of most in-demand free agents for the 2014 season.