Bucs Prepping For Immediate McCown MoveMarch 7th, 2014
Regular JoeBucsFan.com readers know Joe rarely goes to the “source” card on these pages. Joe’s not big on using unnamed sources, and while Joe shares reports of other media types doing just that, Joe only goes there with his own sources on rare occasion.
Today is one of those days.
Joe has been told now by multiple sources close to the Bucs that the team will move swiftly on soon-to-be free agent quarterback Josh McCown, who resurrected his career with the Bears last year after going 3-2 in five starts with 13 touchdowns versus only one interception.
The Bucs can pounce on McCown’s agent as early as Saturday at noon and sign McCown no earlier than Tuesday at 4 p.m., when the free agency dinner bell rings.
Here’s the NFL’s explanation of what has been nicknamed the “tampering period” of unrestricted free agency.
Q. What is permitted during the three-day negotiating period prior to the start of free agency?
A. Beginning at 12:00 noon ET on Saturday, March 8 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.
During this negotiation period, a prospective unrestricted free agent cannot visit a club (other than the player’s current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player’s current club). If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.
Clubs (other than the player’s current club) may not discuss or make any travel arrangements with prospective unrestricted free agent players, their certified agents, or anyone else associated with the player until the expiration of those players’ 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.
The three-day negotiating period applies only to potential unrestricted free agents; it does not apply to players who are potential Exclusive Rights Players or Restricted Free Agents, or to players who have been designated as Franchise Players or Transition Players.
Of course, the Bucs’ pursuit of McCown wouldn’t/shouldn’t surprise anyone. Lovie Smith coached and signed McCown in Chicago. McCown likely is better than Mike Glennon, and McCown represents the competition, experience and mentoring ability the Bucs are seeking at the position.
Lovie has said publicly that he wants to bring four quarterbacks to training camp. Right now, the Bucs only have two in Glennon and Mike Kafka.
Could McCown win the starting job, if he’s a Buccaneer? Sure. But Joe would be bummed to see that happen. Joe’s hoping that gig goes to a 2014 first-round draft pick.
What do the Bears thing of McCown? For that answer, Joe recommends this telling video from CSNChicago.com.