Josh McCown signs deal with Buccaneers

Wednesday March 12th, 2014

Josh McCown signs deal with Tampa Bay BuccaneersJosh McCown could compete for the starting QB job in Tampa Bay. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Free agent quarterback Josh McCown will sign a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. The deal is reportedly worth $10 million over two years.

The former Bears' backup QB had been in discussions with a number of teams, including the New York Jets, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, according to media reports. On Monday, the 34-year-old journeyman told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that if he leaves the Bears, it would be for an opportunity where he has the chance to start:

"To leave Chicago, it will be a situation where I’m looking to compete to start or to start and be able to kind of grow more as a player. The only way as a player that you can do that is on the field. That will definitely be something that we are looking at."

The move would reunite McCown with former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who has publicly stated his reservations about making Mike Glennon the Bucs' quarterback of the future.

MORE COVERAGE: 2014 NFL free agency tracker, grades

McCown had one of the best games of his career in Week 14 of last season versus the Dallas Cowboys, a game in which he threw for four touchdowns, ran for another, completed 27-of-36 passes for 348 yards and recorded a 141.9 passer rating in the 45-28 victory. McCown earned NFC Player of the Week for the performance, becoming the first Bears' QB to score five touchdowns since Jack Concannon in 1972. He finished last season having completed 66.8 percent of his passes for a total of 1,829 yards, 13 TDs and one interception.

Grade: B-minus. Is Lovie Smith bailing on Mike Glennon already? Or did Tampa Bay just hand over $10 million for two years to a backup? For as well as McCown played last season (13 TDs to one INT), he's still started just five games since 2008 and will be 35 in July. This feels like the proverbial "bridge" signing a team makes at QB -- nabbing a veteran to hold down the fort until a potential franchise QB comes along. If that is indeed the case, then either Glennon's headed back to the bench or there remains work to be done at this position. -- Chris Burke

GALLERY: NFL players who've changed teams this offseason
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