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Bears sign Mark Sanchez for experience, but drafting QB still priority – Chicago Bears Blog


CHICAGO — Searching for another quarterback to play behind starter Mike Glennon, the Bears agreed to terms with veteran Mark Sanchez on Thursday.

Sanchez, 30, spent much of last season as Dak Prescott‘s backup in Dallas. The fifth overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft, Sanchez started for the New York Jets for four seasons before being relegated to reserve roles for the Eagles and Cowboys.

Terms: One year; financial details still being worked out

What it means: The Bears had to sign another quarterback with experience. Chicago re-upped Connor Shaw in the offseason, but he missed all of 2016 with a broken leg suffered in the final exhibition game. Prior to joining the Bears, Shaw played in just one regular-season game, for the Cleveland Browns in 2014. Chicago didn’t want to enter training camp with only Glennon, Shaw and a rookie quarterback on its depth chart. Sanchez has been in the league for seven years, so the Bears know what to expect. The same cannot be said for Shaw and/or whichever quarterback the Bears presumably draft. The Bears can do a lot worse than Sanchez as a backup. And by all accounts, Sanchez did a pretty good job in the quarterbacks room last season as Prescott emerged as the No. 1 guy in Dallas.

What’s the risk? Well, the Bears still have to find their quarterback of the future. Glennon — guaranteed $16 million in 2017 — has a sterling reputation, according to coaches he worked alongside in Tampa. However, he hasn’t started a game in more than two years, so a certain leap of faith is required. The smartest approach for the Bears is to nurture Glennon but still actively search for their future franchise passer … and those players are almost always found via the draft. So Sanchez’s arrival cannot alter Chicago’s plan to draft a quarterback, if the correct one is available. Also, Sanchez is basically an average player. The Bears might be in trouble if he is forced to play for long stretches of time, but the same can be said for almost every backup in the league.

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