QB Upgrade Needed, Controversy or Not

The Bears never seriously courted the top veterans last year so as not to create any confusion over QB Rex Grossman's status as the clear-cut starter. They didn't want a quarterback controversy last year, and they still don't. But this time around they are expected to worry more about securing a functional player and less about creating conflict at the position.

Grossman is still the man, but he's coming off a ruptured ACL in his right knee that limited him to three games. While at Florida, he never suffered an injury that forced him to miss time. Grossman has gone through two injuries in six starts in the NFL and the question is whether he's injury prone or just had a spot of bad luck.

Although Grossman is expected to be on the field at the start of mini-camp in mid May, the Bears need an insurance policy at quarterback.

Chad Hutchinson played better than Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel, but he wasn't anything special, and Jeff George never got on the field.

Quinn has been released and George will not be retained. Krenzel will likely go to training camp, but is a long shot to make the 53-man roster.

The Bears will kickoff the quarterback tour by brining Kurt Warner in on Friday. Brad Johnson and Jay Fiedler will follow next week.

Whoever signs on will given a chance to move up the depth chart, but will have to prove himself to be better than Grossman and possibly even Hutchinson. Considering the Bears are not the only team looking for veteran help at quarterback, it could be a tough sell.

The Arizona Cardinals are interested in Warner, who he met with Thursday, and appear the easier route to obtain a starting job with head coach Dennis Green not happy with Josh McCown. Johnson has ties to Green from their days in Minnesota.

The Lions are looking for someone to push Joey Harrington and are looking at Warner and Jeff Garcia.

The Giants have an eye on Fiedler, who would replace Warner as the backup to Eli Manning.

There is a chance the search could expand depending on if Kelly Holcomb remains on the market. He was expected to re-sign with the Cleveland Browns before the start of free agency, but the two sides have been unable to workout a deal.


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