Among the available starting quarterbacks dangling about in free agency this NFL offseason, only two boasted a winning record in 2011 when they lost their starting jobs: Rex Grossman and Jason Campbell.
None was among the most talked-about signal callers on the market — at least not the football market — but one former first-round pick found a new home Tuesday.
The Chicago Bears signed Campbell to a one-year contract to back up Jay Cutler.
Campbell was Oakland’s starter last season and led the Raiders to three wins in their first five games before breaking his collarbone on Oct. 16th against Cleveland.
Campbell, who has started 70 of the 71 games he’s played in his NFL career — including 52 over five seasons in Washington — threw for 1,170 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions in six games in 2011.
He has completed 1,296 of 2,131 passes for 14,417 yards, 74 touchdowns and 50 interceptions in a career marred by inconsistency and inept offensive lines in front of him.
As a backup, the Bears could do much worse — like Caleb Hanie, who’s struggles helped Chicago back its way out of a playoff berth — and with injuries becoming a concern for Cutler, Campbell may find his way back under center sooner than most expect.
And even Campbell’s competition sees the value added to the team.
“Jason’s a good player and he’s an awesome guy,” Bears quarterback Josh McCown told the Chicago Tribune. “Anytime you get a chance to bring a player like that in as your backup quarterback, you’ve got to go for it.”
Campbell had an opportunity to “go for it” himself last month, but thought better of it, calling off his wedding with fiancee Jenny Montes only hours before the ceremony.