The Bears secured a big piece of their quarterback puzzle earlier this month when they re-signed Jay Cutler to a deal that could keep him in Chicago through the 2020 season and pay him as much as $128 million when all is said and done. But there’s still more to be done on the quarterback front. And if the Bears are hoping to keep intact the Cutler-Josh McCown tandem that helped them post franchise records in total yards (6,109), passing touchdowns (32), points (445), gross passing yards (4,450) and passer rating (96.9) in 2013, McCown seems to be all ears. During an interview Tuesday night on WMVP-AM 1000, McCown told Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman that he wants to remain a Bear if at all possible in 2014. McCown also said that when he left his exit interview after the season ended that the sentiment from inside Halas Hall was that the Bears wanted him back as their back-up as well. “I think it was mutual that we both wanted to continue working together,” McCown said. “So I think we understand where we’re coming from there. It’s just some of the things that I have to continue to weigh and think about.” McCown will certainly have other options and an opportunity to cash in after an impressive 2013 season. With Cutler sidelined periodically by groin and ankle injuries, McCown made five starts and finished three other games. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes, threw for 1,829 yards and contributed 13 TD passes with only one interception. His most impressive work came in a pair of starts on “Monday Night Football.” In his first start of the season on Nov. 4 at Lambeau Field, McCown threw for 272 yards with two touchdown passes in a 27-20 defeat of the Packers. Five weeks later, he threw for 348 yards, threw four TD passes, ran for another and led the Bears to scores on eight consecutive possessions in a 45-28 thrashing of the Cowboys. McCown’s readiness, productivity and overall humility quickly made him a fan favorite. And it also opened eyes around the league where quarterback needy teams will almost certainly reach out to McCown when free agency opens in March. But McCown wants it understood that he fully appreciates the situation that exists in Chicago within the system of head coach Marc Trestman with a high-powered offense that also features three Pro Bowlers in running back Matt Forte and receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. So McCown isn’t just going to jump at the biggest payday or any opportunity to start. “If an opportunity does come along to start, where is that team? What kind of team is that? And so on and so forth,” McCown told Waddle and Silverman. “I’ve had opportunities. But it’s hard to leave a team, especially as a quarterback, in an offensive structure like we have and that we’re building and with the pieces that you have around you.
McCown's 2014 plans? 'My heart is in Chicago'
Chicago Tribune | Jan 28