Josh McCown's solid performance in Thursday night's preseason opener wasn't enough for the Bears to spend the $825,000 it would have cost to keep him as the team's No. 3 quarterback.
The Bears also traded fullback Tyler Clutts for a former Northwester cornerback, and sources say the team will waive running back Armando Allen later today.
McCown compiled a 90.7 passer rating vs. the Browns, completing 20 of 29 passes for 157 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. But the Bears have decided to go with just two quarterbacks, Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell, waiving McCown among the 21 players they must trim from the roster by 8 p.m.
McCown, a 10-year veteran, was signed off the street late last season after Cutler was injured on Nov. 20. When backup Caleb Hanie proved a huge disappointment, the Bears turned to McCown, who performed well. Despite his limited time in the system and almost no practice reps, he compiling a 76.1 passer rating and started the final two games, leading the Bears to a 1-1 record.
"We had a great chance to see what Josh could do last year at the end of the year," coach Lovie Smith said. "He is capable. I can still see him playing against the Packers and putting us in position and helping us win the last game against Minnesota. He's just been a pro the entire time he has been here."
Running back Armando Allen will also be waived according to sources, despite rushing for 83 yards on 16 carries Thursday night, including a 49-yard pickup on his final carry. Allen also caught 5 passes for 51 yards, including an 11-yard TD. That would leave Lorenzo Booker as the No. 3 running back. Allen is eligible for the practice squad, which can be formed on Saturday.
Clutts, who also played well at fullback in the preseason finale, was traded to the Texans for former Northwestern cornerback Sherrick McManis, Houston's fifth-round draft pick in 2010. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Clutts' primary asset is as a lead blocker. But offensive coordinator Mike Tice favors using a tight end in that role on the rare occasions when a lead blocker is required in his scheme.
Clutts played in all 16 games last season, mostly on special teams after being signed off the Browns practice squad before the start of the season, He also caught 8 passes for 48 yards.
"A huge thank you to the Chicago Bears n the city of Chi for a wonderful year!" Clutts tweeted Friday afternoon. "Truly a 1st class team, city n fans. Will miss u bearsnation."
Clutts' departure is probably good news for second-year player Kyle Adams, who could stick as the team's fourth tight end behind Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth and rookie Evan Rodriguez. Adams is also a valuable contributor on special teams.
The Bears have not confirmed any roster moves yet, but rookie cornerback Greg McCoy, a seventh-round draft pick from TCU, is also expected be waived. Sources have also reported that wide receivers Brittan Golden and Joe Anderson, safety Mark LeGree, cornerback Cornelius Brown and linebackers Xavier Adibi and Jabara Williams will be waived.