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March 12, 2014 @ 5:06 pm
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Smith Names McCown Starter After Signing Him To 2-Year Deal

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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The Buccaneers continue to be active in free agency, adding veteran Josh McCown with a two-year deal. Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said McCown will go into the offseason as the team's starting quarterback over Mike Glennon, who started 13 games last year as a rookie.
Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith added the veteran quarterback to the mix at the position that he wanted when Tampa Bay signed Josh McCown to a two-year contract. It is a two-year, $10 million deal according to reports. Smith said that McCown will be given the first opportunity to start for the Buccaneers over second-year quarterback Mike Glennon, who started the final 13 games of his rookie season in 2013.

"With every position there is competition," Smith said. "We have starting rotations at every position. That is what we have. Gerald McCoy is at the top of the depth chart with our starting rotation. And then you have to have certain level of play for guys to stay that way. That is the way it has always been for me. But there has to be a starting spot, a starting point, a starting person to go out there first. That would be Josh."

Smith said that his history with McCown, his experience and his character give him the initial edge in the team's quarterback competition.

"Josh and I go way back," Smith said. "Back in 2010 when we got a player hurt in training camp while I was back in Chicago I called Josh. Being the man that he is – and I said, 'Hey, Josh, I want you to come [to Chicago]" – he had promised his team (Hartford) in the other league (the UFL). He said, 'Lovie, I would really like to come, and it would be a quarterback's dream to be in the NFL, but I gave the coach – I think it was Chris Palmer – my word that I would stay here this year.' We went to the NFC Championship game that year. That's what he turned down. When you start looking at the character of the man and what you are dealing with it started  then. When I had the chance to get with him again I had a different perspective of him and it just worked. I think we all end up where we are supposed to be.

"I told Josh, 'You knew for a fact, even though I couldn't talk to you, that when I got a job I would call you.' And he did. You have to believe in your quarterback like that. We got our guy."

Smith said that the addition of McCown wouldn't prevent the team from drafting a quarterback with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"We have a lot of different ways we can go," Smith said. "I can make a case for probably six positions with guys that could be there that we could use. This is the position we want to be in."

McCown was Chicago's backup quarterback from 2011-13, including Smith's last two seasons when he was still the Bears head coach. The Sam Houston State product visited One Buccaneer Place on Tuesday shortly after free agency opened.

McCown, who drew interest from the Bucs, the Texans, the Jets and the Bears, wanted the chance to compete for the starting job. That opportunity appeared to be the greatest in Tampa Bay as Bears starter Jay Cutler recently signed a long-term extension that pays him $54 million in guaranteed money over the length of the deal.

"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," McCown said on Monday. "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."

McCown, who is the brother of former Bucs backup QB Luke McCown, appeared in eight games with five starts for Chicago in 2013, finishing with 13 touchdowns, just one interception and a passer rating of 109. As he enters his 11th year in the NFL, McCown will move on to his sixth team after stops in Arizona (2002-05), Detroit (2006), Oakland (2007), Carolina (2008-09) and Chicago (2011-13).

McCown was 3-2 with the Bears last year after filling in for an injured Jay Cutler, completing 149-of-224 pass attempts for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. McCown’s 109.0 passer rating was the NFL’s third-highest rating among quarterbacks in 2013. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a journeyman backup quarterback, who will be 35 when the season starts. In 58 games in his career, McCown has completed 794-of-1,337 passes for 8,827 yards with 50 touchdowns and 45 interceptions.

Smith wasn't concerned about McCown's age, and said he still had lots of mileage left on his tires.

"If you haven't played a lot it puts a little time on you, too," Smith said. "We're going to be a young football team."

Glennon had a solid rookie season but hasn’t established himself as a bona fide NFL starter as of yet in most fans' minds, and it has yet to be determined exactly how the new coaching staff and front office feel about the former North Carolina State product. Glennon has the intelligence, arm strength and leadership most feel to succeed in the NFL, but if one of the top three ranked college prospects (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater or UCF's Blake Bortles) fall to the Buccaneers with the No. 7 selection, the staff will have a decision to make. Part of the decision may depend on how Glennon performs during April’s mini-camp. 

Glennon finished the 2013 season throwing for 2,608 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, but the question mark remains – is he a quarterback who can make those around him better, or is he just an average game manager?

Mike Kafka, a former Eagles prospect, was signed earlier this year by Tampa Bay as a free agent but is most likely thought of as a developmental project-type player and another camp arm. Kafka has little NFL experience, with just 16 NFL pass attempts.
Last modified on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 17:25
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    Ok lets see here... Glennon one year 19 pass TDs almost 3,000 yrds. McCown in 13 years 22 starts 13 pass TDs and about 2,500 yrds. But he's now our starter? I understand Smith wanting a veteran QB to push Glennon to the next level. But naming that guy a starter when his whole playing life doesn't add up to Glennons rookie year.
  • avatar


    GEORGE HICKS AGAIN WOW ANOTHER GREAT MOVED.NOW GLENNON CAN LEARN FROM A VETERAN. THE TEAM JUST GOT BETTER-GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Is anyone excited about McCown? I surely am not. $5-mil a year for a QB who's played maybe 6-weeks of good football in his entire career!? I'd rather keep Glennon, cut Williams and there, we've already freed up 10-mil of cap space that should have been spent towards keeping Revis. Cutting Revis to sign a bunch of grade c/d free agents just doesn't seem like a good tradeoff to me.
  • avatar


    I understand the McCown signing, it's both an insurance policy and good competition for Glennon. I hope Glennon honestly gets the opportunity to compete for the starting job. I believe it'll be in the Bucs best interests to let this situation play itself out on the field. Don't be surprised if Glennon outplays McCown.
  • avatar


    I remember the first time we played McNabb in Philly. Sapp and our boys had their way with him. Later on in his career he had his way with us until that NFC championship game. Glennon could become great, he could be a bust. Brady sat behind Drew for awhile, and I'm sure he'd tell you it helped him become the Tom Brady he is today. Had he started from day one it might have ruined him. The pressure is off Glennon now, that's a good thing. We don't want to force him into being the guy right away. Those FA's we're bringing in, and the guys that are hear want to win now, hell so do we. Mike is not Luck, RG, or Wilson, just doesn't have that talent. He'll be better in the long run being groomed instead of having the franchise on his shoulders now. Hopefully when he does get that shot, and he will, he becomes the next Tom Brady, instead of the next David Carr.
  • avatar


    Glennon reminds me of: Art Schlichter (1982), Jeff George (1990), Andre Ware (1990), Dan McGwire (1991), Todd Marinovich (1991), Tommy Maddox (1992), Rick Mirer (1993), Jim Druckenmiller (1997), Ryan Leaf (1998), Tim Couch (1999), Cade McNown (1999), Joey Harrington (2002), J.P. Losman (2004), Vince Young (2006), Matt Leinart (2006), JaMarcus Russell (2007) I wonder why he reminds me of these guys....oh yeah, it's because they are all busts.
  • avatar


    Don't you love the honesty of Lovie Smith? He and Coach Tedford have obviously watched all of Glennon's college tape and all of his 2013 Buccaneer games (including that 1st half against the Seahawks that quickly swirled down the toilet of defeat in the 2nd half as did many of the 1st half teases) and concluded without hesitation that an 11 year journeyman is the better choice for 2014. Lovie has not minced any words. No mention of coach-speak phrases like "competing" or "challenging" or "mentoring". Yes, Glennon's TD to Interception ratio was a positive statistic. Yes, there were a lot of issues beyond his control that limited the offense under his command. But, if one just watches Glennon play they should see that something is missing. I think it's called the "It Factor."
  • avatar


    I wonder if we end up drafting a QB if Glennon becomes trade bait ? I see the Pats dealing Mallett on draft day and us dealin Glennon to the Pats for some odd reason..we have now basically given the pats yet another gift( a reduced price Revis since they lost one of the last two gifts we gave them),it's their time to pay us back.. Not to excited about this move,but I really don't have any say anyway...rest of FA has been pretty sweet so I guess I'll leave it at that..
  • avatar


    Yeah Glennon is trade bait, I'm sure all of the teams would be happy to give us an 8th rounder for him (ha ha)! To be a franchise QB, you have to feel exalted when you are behind and get the opportunity to have the ball in your hands, willing the team along to work a game winning drive as time expires...Glennon just collapses in an almost cowardly manner. It does not seem to be in his make up to be a gutsy, fiesty winner. Yes trade him please, he is just not good now and I doubt he can become good. His jersey should not have a number, it should have a big "L".
  • avatar

    So a 34 yr old journeyman qb is our starter this yr who they practically ran out of town in AZ? Wow, this will be along yr again, the bright side is I still have my Luke McCown Jersey never thought it would come handy let me see if I can find it in the attic where I store M Clayton, Caddy and Gaines Adams Jerseys as well
  • avatar


    I don't know all the NFL rules but I gotta think there is a strong case of tampering against the Patriots and I would go after them and Revis full bore.No Way I let this BS go. Roger G step up and do your job!!!
  • avatar

    With all the moves Lovie has made in these past days, I will be severely disappointed if TB does make at least a wild card spot this season. If you are going to have McCown (two years left in league according to most) start you need to win games. As far as the first pick goes, it should not be a QB IMO. The team needs on OL who will be with Tampa for a while more than a Glennon replacement. I see Glennon as a Brady/ Manning QB when I watch him play. Is he there yet? no. He needs the development time, in all serious no one expected him to start in the NFL this time last year. Look at that 1st half of the Seattle game if you want to know what Glennon is capable of. Also, Bridgewater and Manziel are NFL busts. Bortles may be ok, but Garropolo looks like the best bet. I like drafting defense or OL in round one IF Watkins is off the board.
  • avatar


    Alex Smith might be a notch above McCown, and look at KC's turn around last year, so yeah I think we can make the playoffs with him. Hell we won the SB with Brad Johnson, anything is possible. Those who say we won the SB with defense, not because of B Johnson are completely right. Get the point?
  • avatar


    Off topic, where's Collins ? With us paying 4.75 for McCown we should only have about 5.25 left to spend as we need to save 5 mil for draft, is that about right ?
  • avatar


    nope still 10 to 15 if they choose and that's without restructuring and if they sign the tackle its nearly a wash as Penn will be released .
  • avatar

    Really no a believer in Josh McCown. He will be great to add veteran leadership and help out the young guys, but hes by no means the man going forward. If we sign collins, get that center from greenbay, then this pick is a qb. I hope its Teddy Bridgewater. To me, he just feels right to be the guy for the next 10 plus years. I love everything about him. so what hes 214lbs?? he can add 10-15 more lbs and now were looking at a 6'3'' 225-230lb qb that has a great arm, accuracy, and has the "it" factor. I really hope we can get him. also wouldnt be mad with Bortles, but id love to have TB on board.
  • avatar


    Revis just signed with the Pats for 1 year, 12mil. Would not renegotiate with us. I don't have any behind the scenes details so I'm not going to say whose at fault for this divorce or the way that it occurred. I will only say that I'm moving on without regret and liking the direction the team is headed in now. I wish Revis well!
  • avatar


    Hard to see Josh McCown taking us to the playoffs anymore than I could see Glennon doing it....this move has "backup" written all over it...maybe Lovie is thinking of the 3 year plan here and he really likes either Mettenberger or Murray and knows those guys each need a year to recover still...sorry, but with these QBs and no help at all for a terrible OL yet, I think we're in rebuilding mode....now if TB falls to us and we address the OL then I think we have a great shot....
  • avatar


    At least we have a solid veteran. Seemed to be the best in FA. At least we passed on Vick!!!! That would have been tough to swallow. So far I am very impressed with the direction we seem to be headed. First time in years we have a strong set of leaders that at least know where they want to pilot this ship. And I do love the new Pirate ship LOGO!!! GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • avatar


    See how much I know, the draft is in May this year! lol
  • avatar


    Of course he’s the starter. All starter’s have 2 year contracts. Haven’t seen the details yet, but if it has 5mil guaranteed, then it’s a 1 year contract. No doubt in my mind he’s the starter. Sarcasm aside, we've got to start somewhere and today McCown is the guy with the NFL experience. Glennon is not ready yet, but there's nothing to say he can't get ready. This is a prudent move because it lessens the risk of putting the team on the shoulders of a rookie with 3 months game experience. I have no favorites here. For all I know our starting QB will be drafted in April. Whatever wins us games!
  • avatar


    Agree completly.
  • avatar


    I think McCown is an average NFL QB. Which means I like him a lot more than McGlennon. The thing I like about this move is it means we don't have to draft a QB (I still think we do, at least if Bortles or Manziel fall). But at least we won't panic draft Carr. And we will at least have a shot at either Watkins or one of the OT's. So not a bad signing.
  • avatar


    owlykat... I'm with you, if Licht and Lovie need to pick a QB at seven then that should tell you that they don't think Glennon is the MAN going forward. Glennon is afraid to stand in the pocket and runs with a little bit of pressure. IMO that cannot be taught. If you are afraid to take a hit you will never make it as a starter. If you look at M. Vick he gets hurt because he has no fear and stands in the pocket and takes the hit which is not good either but he has no fear.
  • avatar


    Clemente we were not grooming Glennon to be a starter. That was Schiano's fantasy dream. We wasted a season giving Glennon the opportunity to show what he could do, but we learned his potential is only to be a backup. Four fumbles, seven interceptions, and could not bring the Bucs from behind because he crumbled under pressure like a lost kid. He was pathetic when it counted at the most important position on the team. There was never a fair competition with Orlovsky who still beat him with the highest completion percentage last preseason. Schiano rigged that competition because he did not want his pet to lose out to Orlovsky!
  • avatar


    I hope this doesn't play out the way that seems most likely, which is that McCown starts and as we get toward the midpoint of the season it's clear he is not the answer, so we end up with another stub year for Glennon, still not knowing for certain what we have on our hands. I would rather start Glennon and give him a full season to see what he can do. I do like that this makes it unlikely we take the risk of drafting a QB at #7, would rather trade down +/or bolster the OL with at least two high picks. Have to say I am impressed by Lovie and his squad in the early going, these guys had clear plans and are executing against them. We will be a significantly better team in '14.
  • avatar


    Great this did not break the bank and Lovie has named McCown the starter! We still need to take a QB with our 7th pick to develop into our QB for the future. We will fill a lot of our holes by Free Agency and the rest in the draft. Experts are now predicting a turnaround just like Kansas City last year just as I had predicted we could by getting an experienced NFL Coach and a Veteran QB. This is night and day from dumbo Schiano!!!
  • avatar

    I am not sold on this move. Aside from last year, what has McCown really shown over the course of his career to prove that he is worthy of being the starter next year? I had high hopes that Glennon would be given an honest chance to be the starter next year. After a ok rookie year(better than the other rookie QB's drafted ahead of him), I felt he should be the starter going into camp. It almost feels like he is being punished for being Schiano's pick. Granted he has some things he needs to work on, but a healthy and improved team in front of him is the way to make those weaknesses strengths. FA has been great so far with many new parts being added to make this a better team, and hopefully more pieces will be added in the next few weeks.
  • avatar

    Strongly disagree with this move, and do not understand the viewpoint of the commenters below. Glennon is an excellent QB, at the least someone the Bucs can certainly win with in the long term. McCown? As a starter after we spent a year grooming Glennon so he would gain experience? What purpose exactly does a mediocre QB serve? The Bucs should have brought in a veteran QB as a backup and mentor for Glennon, who would remain the starter and continue to develop. But don't take my word for it-- here is Sports Forecaster's assessment: Glennon: "Talented pocket passer with a fantastic arm." ( http://sportsforecaster.com/tsf/football/player.php?18527 ) McCown: "Average journeyman quarterback." (http://sportsforecaster.com/tsf/football/player.php?5013)
  • avatar


    IMO this is a great pick up. Now we have TWO years to find a real QB. You have this year or next to get a QB and maybe a year to develop a real franchise QB. Now we can pass on a QB this year and wait till next year to find a franchise QB and extend McCown or let Glennon play a year while the real QB develops. Rome was not built in a day and after having average to below average QB's for 12 years I can wait another year or two for the REAL thing to come along.
  • avatar


    I am so-so with this signing. I believe that Glennon will be better than McCown. I think only the 1st year is guaranteed which is 4.75 million, but I am not sure. Anybody else know?
  • avatar


    I agree Horse. Of course they re going to give McCown the first start. They are not going to pay him $5 million to back up Glennon. But eventually it will be Glennon.
  • avatar

    McCown will be your starter in Tampa next season. You can almost bank on it. I'm really hoping the Bucs can land Sammie Watkins at the 7th Pick. I've not been this high on a WR since Calvin Johnson. I think he's the single best player in this entire draft class.
  • avatar


    bucfan47, Usually the salary tells you who will have the edge on the starting job, so I agree McCown will likely start. I like the size of the Evans kid, the big guys are more consistent in fighting for the ball, even if they are not really open and with the QB situation, that would be a big plus.
  • avatar


    Another great move by the GM and coach. Now, if they can get a good center (and their interviewing) to move Zutah to guard, and sign a good WR, our Bucs will be very competitive.
  • avatar


    Now that they have their 3rd rounder back, I think there's a good chance the Bucs go after one of the second tier developmental guys like McCarron, Murray, or Metzenburger.
  • avatar

    i like the move. a solid backup for glennon, or until glennon or our next annointed one gets ready... glennon, mccown, kafka..... a qb upgrade..... next stop....oline...... return man......another wr ?? another cb if revis is gone?? GO BUCS !!! I FEEL BETTER ABOUT LOVIE yhan i ever did about schiano.... ,,,,,THINK I JUST NEVER WAS A "SCHIANO MAN "
  • avatar


    I agree with pinkstob. McCown looked good in Chicago last year, but I would hope that Glennon has progressed to the point that he handily wins the job. Its not a lot of money so hopefully this move equates to us having a very solid backup.
  • avatar

    More likely we take a QB with our 2nd pick now if not later. GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar

    Nobody can say the top QB's in the draft will come in and play better than McCown or Glennon in the first 2 years.Look at last years top drafted QB's. This year isn't much better. Just because Wilson (Sea) Luck (Ind) RG3 (Wash) and a couple other QBs came in and played well immediately in the last few drafts doesn't mean any of the QB's this year will come in and immediately play well. I don't want to wait 2 or 3 years to start winning because we reached for a QB in 2014 draft. Maybe Tedford & Lovie believe there is a QB at #7 that's worth it than OK, but if they don't im not gonna whine about not taking a QB at #7 just because J McCown isn't the long term answer.
  • avatar


    This works. Not too much of a commitment, but a safety net in case Glennon can't be the guy.
  • avatar


    This is the first FA acquisition that I'm only lukewarm on. The Bears have better #1 and #2 WR's than we have, a better TE than we have and a better O-line than we have. Luke McCown is also a FA and has spent time learning from D. Brees. Luke is also younger and more athletic. Frankly I don't think Josh McCown will be any better than Glennon will be in his 2nd year. I don't think this will stop us at all from drafting a QB in the 1st round. The top 3 QB's in the draft are all better and more athletic than Glennon and McCown, which is what Lovie wants. The reason I don't hate this pickup is because we are only paying him $5 million a year for 2 years. Since the top starting QB's in the league now make $20 million/year, $5 million/year is clearly backup money and a fair rate.
  • avatar


    Tears of a McCown. Don't be to sure a Q.B. won't be in play at #7. McCown is vet competition on a 2yr deal,not here for the long haul. Got him at a good price, and the best F.A. Q.B., IMO. Wow what a difference a good G.M., and real coach make. Verner came to T.B. because Lovie sold him on being the next R Barber. The Titans offered the same deal, so Lovie's status among NFL players is paying dividends.
  • avatar


    The Bucs will still gt a QB in the draft, it could be round 2, or 3, but they will find a guy they can develop. I'm glad they got McCown, at leasst there is some kind of baseline to judge Glennon against and truth be told, wih McCown and excellent defense, we could get 8-10 wins.
  • avatar

    Another Great Move! Best FA QB! Now we don't have to pick a QB with the #7 pick and possibly hold this team back from winning for a couple years because there's no QB in the draft that's gonna come in and turn the Bucs into an instant winner. No way we pick one of the top QB's with the 7th pick which is great because odds are none of them will turn into a franchise QB. GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar

    Good News!!
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