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The “Worst Non-Active Player” in Bears History? SI Makes Their Choice


Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Worst non-active player by franchise” for each and every franchise, the Bears included.

The player that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked was a huge bust – quarterback Cade McNown, whose pick seem to set the team back big time.

Cade McNown
QB, Chicago Bears

The Bears are known for a great many things throughout their storied history, but developing quarterbacks isn’t one of them. Outside of Sid Luckman, a few years of Jim McMahon and Jay Cutler on his good days, it’s almost incomprehensible how many seasons Chicago has gone without even replacement-level quarterbacking. There’s a lot of epically bad personnel decisions in that equation, and the decision to take McNown with the No. 12 pick in the 1999 draft is one of the worst ones.

McNown was a holdout through most of his rookie preseason, but eventually signed a seven-year, $15 million deal with a $6 million signing bonus. There were incentives in that deal worth another $7 million—safe to say McNown at least saved the Bears money there. McNown played sparingly in his first five games, throwing his first touchdown pass (and his first two picks) against the Eagles in Week 6. Eventually, ineffectiveness and injuries forced the Bears to go in a different direction at the quarterback position. By the time he was traded to the Dolphins in 2001, McNown was reduced to fighting for Chicago’s third-string job with Danny Wuerffel.

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