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Bears Weighing Options At Backup Quarterback

The Bears’ decision to bring in a veteran to back up QB Jay Cutler didn’t work out, as Todd Collins had an awful showing when he filled in under center last year. Collins will not be back, and Cutler is the only quarterback under contract with the Bears through 2011, although it’s likely Caleb Hanie, who will be a restricted free agent, will return. The Bears have tendered Hanie at an original-pick level.

Since he was undrafted, a team could sign him to an offer sheet and the Bears would get no draft-pick compensation for him, although they do have the right of first refusal. Chicago might opt to carry only Cutler and Hanie, if he’s back, at quarterback next season, but the Bears are at least exploring their options in the draft and could look for a developmental backup in the middle or late rounds, as they did in last year’s draft, spending a sixth-round pick on Dan LeFevour, who was cut prior to the season and claimed by the Bengals.

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