Considering George has been out of the league for nearly three years, he’s more of a clearance buy than anything else. In actuality the Bears will only pay him around $250,000 for the final five games, which is equal to a one-year deal worth $760,000.
With Chad Hutchinson expected to make his first start with the Bears against the Vikings a week from today and Craig Krenzel to miss 3-4 weeks because of an ankle sprain depth at quarterback was needed.
Although George instantly becomes the most experienced quarterback on the roster, he hasn’t thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2001. He spent the end of the 2002 campaign with Seattle, but never actually played.
The 36-year-old has been trying to latch on with the Bears since Rex Grossman went down. The team decided to return the call after Krenzel was hurt.
George has insisted that he would be able to learn an offense within days of getting a playbook. That theory will be tested because there are only five games left on the schedule.
It took Hutchinson two months to learn the offense and the coaching staff still isn’t sure if he’s ready to play.
George is ultimately hoping to earn a roster spot for next year and plans to use the rest of the season as a paid tryout.
The former first overall pick in the 1990 draft has started 124 games for five different teams:
Indianapolis (1990-93), Atlanta (1994-96), Oakland (1997-98), Minnesota (1999) and Washington (2000-01). He’s completed 2,298 of 3,967 passes for 27,602 yards with 154 touchdowns and 113 interceptions for an 80.4 passer rating. He also led the league in passing yards in 1997 with 3,917.
The problem with George hasn’t been his production; it’s his reputation for being a bad locker room guy. In 1996 he and then Atlanta head coach June Jones had to be separated after having a sideline confrontation.
It appears Jonathan Quinn’s time in Chicago is coming to an end and Krenzel didn’t do anything in five starts to guarantee a roster spot beyond this year.
Hutchinson is getting the chance to prove he deserves a supporting role next year, but if he falters George would be waiting in the wings.
Tim Couch was brought in earlier this season for a tryout and wasn’t physically ready to play. The team is exploring all of their current options to upgrade the position and will obviously make it their first priority in the off-season.