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posted: 3/14/2014 5:18 AM

For Bears and McCown, it's a lose-lose deal

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  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith was able to convinced Josh McCown to leave the Bears and join his offense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith was able to convinced Josh McCown to leave the Bears and join his offense.
    Associated Press/file


The Chicago Bears bid "Big Game" Josh McCown adieu as he signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach Lovie Smith.

Instead of a win-win proposition, it will be remembered as a lose-lose situation for the Bears and McCown.

Congrats to Josh for cashing in after his impressive, but short run as a starter for the blue and orange. He only played in eight games -- five as a starter with a 3-2 record, but he played about as good as a quarterback could play when given the opportunity.

He has to be the only guy in NFL history who was benched after winning the NFC player of the week honor.

Now he's off to the Bucs and here's hoping he does well, but with Lovie Smith's record of success with quarterbacks coupled with leaving Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer's system, McCown probably won't match the success he had in Chicago.

As for the Bears, it's all about the health of Jay Cutler again this season. If he misses time this year like he did last year, the Bears will be irrelevant in a tough and improving division without a decent backup quarterback.

I heard someone describe the 34-year-old McCown as a good pickup but not spectacular. I would argue that 13 touchdowns and 1 interception with a quarterback rating of 109 can be considered spectacular.

I still feel the Bears didn't keep the best quarterback. At the very least, they should have kept McCown as a solid backup.

Now the Bears are hoping Cutler, who will soon turn 31, has finally figured it out.

The defensive unit will have to improve dramatically or the ship will take on water early.

That's also why the importance of not turning the ball over is critical to the success of the Bears.

Fortunately, if there is a team in football that is top heavy offensively, it's the Bears. There is no doubt that with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett and a healthy Cutler, the offense can and will have to put up a minimum of 24 points for them to be competitive.

Cutler needs to stay on the field, keep the turnovers down and hold his own against the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford.

If he can do that, there is a chance to win the division, but right now I am looking at a third place.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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