By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 23, 2005 2:10PM
The first round of cuts came yesterday throughout the NFL, with teams primarily casting off players whose contracts tied their hands financially. Salary Cap cuts. But the Bears' first move involved cutting a player who wasn't much of a cap concern -- Jonathan Quinn. Signed to back up Rex Grossman, he failed miserably as a starting QB. After losing his three starts, the team started rookie Craig Krenzel while signing just about every out-of-work retread QB available. By the end of the season, only Chad Hutchinson showed signs of being a real NFL QB.
So Quinn is gone, and Jeff George will not be re-signed. With other teams cutting QBs who don't work well in their systems or who are too costly to hold a clipboard, a number of other big name QBs will be available when free agency starts March 2. Drew Bledsoe and Jeff Garcia were cut yesterday, although both are rumored to be rejoining coaches from their glory years. Kurt Warner is expected to be cut soon, and is rumored to be interested in the Bears as a backup. Vinny Testaverde, Jeff Blake, and Brian Griese will likely be available, too. Which is good news because the Bears desperately need to add a veteran QB, who can back up Grossman or who can be a competent starting QB should Grossman still be slowed by his injured knee. The Bears cannot have another year like 2004. At least if Lovie Smith wants to keep his job and new offensive coordinator Ron Turner wants to avoid comparisons to John Shoop!