After a busy first day in free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept up their frenzied pace Wednesday signing quarterback Josh McCown to a deal that sure makes him look like a starter and releasing Darrelle Revis.
It seemed to make everybody happy except for incumbent quarterback Mike Glennon and former Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
Glennon now appears to be a long shot to retain his starting job and Dominik may go down for engineering one of the worst deals in the history of the Bucs franchise.
McCown signed a two year $10 million deal that could raise the figure another $5 million if he reaches certain playing time incentives and takes the Bucs into the playoff. He gets $4.75 million the first year and $5.25 the following season.
The 34-year-old McCown is a journeyman NFL backup quarterback, but is coming off his best season last year in Chicago where he threw 13 touchdown passes and only one interception filling in for Jay Cutler.
McCown is 16-22 in his career starts. He will be competing in the NFC South Division with its all star caliber quarterbacks in New Orleans Drew Brees, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Cam Newton from Carolina.
McCown appeared in eight games last year. In his five starts he went 3-2 and threw for 1,543 yards and 11 touchdowns with one interception.
“To leave Chicago, it’ll be a situation where I am looking to compete to start or start,” McCown recently said.
McCown is getting a lot of money for a backup and on the low end for a starter. He brings some mixed emotions to Bucs fans who don’t believe Glennon is the long term answer at quarterback. He is coming off an inconsistent rookie year that saw him struggle in the last month of the season.
There is a good chance the Bucs are going to select a quarterback in this year’s NFL draft possibly with the seventh overall pick they have.
Bucs new head coach Lovie Smith said he wants four quarterbacks in camp, including a veteran.
He has not made any statements that Glennon is the guy he believes can lead the franchise. In fact his silence on that subject indicates otherwise.
McCown benefited a lot in Chicago from having electrifying Pro Bowl receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall, who were adept at going up and getting those 50-50 balls. At Tampa his only highly touted receiver is Vincent Jackson.
The Revis release ends one of the oddest sagas in Bucs history. He was the most heralded signee last year and described as a savior when he joined Tampa Bay after signing six individual $16 million contracts. None of the money is guaranteed and the Bucs save $16 million in cap space by not resigning him.
Revis is now free to negotiate his best deal on the open market, which figures to pay him $10 million per season and up based on other recent cornerback signings.
There was speculation among some Bucs fans that the organization would retain Revis at least for a year. But when the team acquired Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner on Tuesday night that hope vanished.
Revis follows quarterback Josh Freeman as two high priced commodities that the franchise allowed to leave without getting anything in return the past two seasons.
“We have specific ideas regarding the best way to build this defense and, while you never like to lose a good player, we believe this is in the best interests of our team moving forward,” Bucs GM Jason Licht said. “Darrelle was a true professional here in Tampa Bay and we wish him continued success in his career.”