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Report: Bears won't bring back backup QB Hanie

For all those teams that end up bridesmaids in the chase for Peyton Manning, there is a silver lining.

Caleb Hanie can still be yours.

The Bears will not re-sign the backup quarterback, ESPNChicago.com reported on Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the situation.

Hanie sealed his fate in Chicago with his woeful relief effort of Jay Cutler after the Bears starter went down with a broken thumb on Nov. 20. Hanie threw nine interceptions and three touchdown passes in four consecutive Bears losses before he was replaced by Josh McCown.

"Each year you learn something," Bears coach Lovie Smith said last month. "We thought we had a better plan at quarterback. I knew how valuable Jay was to us and that won't change, but we do need to get ourselves in a better position at that backup quarterback position.

"There are a lot of options out there. This is an attractive place for a quarterback, and we're going to look at people."

Hanie, you may remember, replaced an injured Cutler and earned praise for holding his own against the Packers in the 2010 NFC Championship Game. No gold stars were being handed out this season, however, and you have to think 0-4 will serve as a flapping red flag for teams in search of QB depth.

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