The quarterback controversy is officially on in Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers have signed veteran signal caller Josh McCown to a two-year contract, according to his agent, Mike McCartney.
— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) March 12, 2014
McCown is likely to compete with Mike Glennon for the starting job with the Bucs, and stands a good chance of winning should he grasp Jeff Tedford’s offense and display the quick decision-making ability that Glennon seemed to lack (although that could also have been a byproduct of Mike Sullivan’s offense).
The 34-year-old McCown has been in the NFL since 2002, and has spent time in Arizona, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina and Chicago. He’s the brother of former Buccaneer Luke McCown, and Josh’s arrival makes the Bucs the only team to have signed both McCown brothers at some point in franchise history.
Josh has started 38 games in his career, while appearing in 58. His career QB rating of 77.5 is sure to draw some curious looks, but it was his performance in 2013 that led to his relevance on the free agent market this year.
McCown posted a 109 QB rating while taking over the Chicago offense from an injured Jay Cutler, and helped keep the Bears afloat in a tight NFC North race. He threw 13 touchdowns to only one interception, and averaged 8.2 yards per attempt.
This was obviously an outlier given his career history, but it’s a sign that he’s capable of being a productive yet careful leader of an NFL offense. Jeff Tedford doesn’t ask for much from his quarterbacks (he succeeded with several notable NFL failures while at the college ranks), so McCown may be the right fit to start.
But even if Mike Glennon wins the job, McCown provides an excellent sideline presence who is a leader and a mentor. In fact, McCown was a high school coach for a short while before returning to the NFL in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s.
McCown is set to make a reasonable $5 million per season, which is well below the threshold for most starting quarterbacks, while slightly higher than most premuim backups.
The #Bucs deal for Josh McCown: It’s two years for $10M. He gets $4.75M this year, $5.25M next year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2014
So while the money doesn’t guarantee him a spot as the starter, it certainly puts more pressure on Mike Glennon to win his job back, rather than simply being handed the reigns to the offense.