The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' free-agent signing of quarterback Josh McCown served a twofold purpose: 1) Find a starter Lovie Smith trusted, and 2) find a mentor for whatever young signal-caller they settle on to be the future of the franchise.
McCown, 34 and coming off the best season of his career, understands he won't play forever and is looking forward to mentoring a young quarterback.
He said last week he met several of the young quarterbacks the Bucs recently brought into the facility for pre-draft visits.
"They all seem like nice kids. They look so young," McCown said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "It was cool to say hello to them; just briefly with Johnny (Manziel) and Teddy (Bridgewater) and Jimmy (Garoppolo). Just, 'Hey. How's it going?' and wish them well. It's funny. You look at them, and you think back a few years and remember how fast it can go."
The team also has 2013 third-round draft pick Mike Glennon, who had a solid rookie season amid some difficult circumstances, but has since seemed to become an afterthought within the building.
Whoever the Bucs tap as their young project, McCown understands the value of having a mentor -- himself learning underneath veterans Kurt Warner in Arizona and Jon Kitna in Detroit -- even if being a good tutor means he'll eventually lose playing time.