Bears sign Josh McCown

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A couple of moments after news broke that the Chiefs were awarded quarterback Kyle Orton on waivers, the Bears announced that they added a quarterback of their own.

The team signed Josh McCown to a one-year contract that was likely sitting in a drawer until the moment the team was sure that they would not be adding Orton for the stretch run. According to Adam Schefter, the Bears did put in a claim on Orton so McCown was their Plan B.

McCown was cut by the 49ers at the end of training camp. He spent 2010 in the UFL and has played with the Panthers, Dolphins, Raiders, Lions and Cardinals. McCown has started 31 games in his NFL career, but he’s probably best known for nearly getting his finger lopped off by brother Luke when the two of them were chopping wood before the start of the 2008 season. McCown was expected to start for the Dolphins that year but wound up traded to the Panthers after the team acquired Chad Pennington.

The addition of McCown gives the Bears a bit more depth, but it doesn’t give them a better option than Caleb Hanie over the final six weeks of the season. Hanie will have to do enough to keep the Bears on the playoff track or one of Lovie Smith’s best Chicago teams will find itself out of the mix come January.