NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Thursday on "NFL Total Access" that it "seems unlikely" that the backup quarterback will re-sign with the team on the heels of his transformative season in the Windy City.
Rapoport named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets as two "realistic options" for the 34-year-old McCown in free agency. He's a good bet to earn more on the open market than Chicago's willing to pay after Jay Cutler signed a multiyear deal with $54 million in guarantees. The Bucs also could be interested in Shaun Hill, Rapoport reported.
McCown was a sensation in head coach Marc Trestman's offense last season, ringing up a 13:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and the sixth-best completion percentage (66.5) in the NFL. He also ranked fifth in yards per attempt (8.2) and third in passer rating (109.0) during a campaign that saw him fill in for and ultimately outshine Cutler.
Trestman worked magic with both Chicago signal-callers, raising questions about McCown's future away from the quarterback whisperer. We don't like his chances if plugged into a Jets attack missing weapons and an identity. The Bucs, at least, offer Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams at receiver and a punishing ground game anchored by Doug Martin and Mike James.
Bottom line: For McCown, the chance to earn a pay bump and finish his career as a starter trumps holding a clipboard in Chicago, no matter how fond he is of the city and its loyal fan base.