Bears QB Jimmy Clausen making bid to be Jay Cutler's backup

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Jimmy Clausen flamed out in Carolina, but he's getting another chance in Chicago. (USATSI)
Jimmy Clausen flamed out in Carolina, but he's getting another chance in Chicago. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: League minicamp dates | Latest news, notes

Even if you thought Jimmy Clausen would never be heard from again after the Panthers released him before the 2013 season, Chicago signed the former second-round draft pick earlier this month. Apparently, he's impressed the Bears coaching staff.

Carrying five quarterbacks in minicamp, the Bears released Jerrod Johnson on Thursday evening, and it makes sense that the team would cut at least one more by the start of the season. With Jay Cutler as the starter and Clausen, Jordan Palmer and sixth-round pick David Fales vying to be his backup, at least one of the latter trio likely won't be with the team in September.

But Clausen might be.

“We're going through the process today of trying to work a little bit with our roster,” Trestman said, via ESPN Chicago. “I think that Jimmy has competed and done a good job for the time that he's been here. I expect that he'll be with us.”

Clausen was taken by the Panthers in the 2010 draft, and he was supposed to be their franchise quarterback. Instead, he bombed out so badly that the team drafted Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick the next season. Clausen finished his Panthers tenure with a 52.5 completion percentage, three touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 1-9 record as a starter.

After sitting out the 2013 season, he signed a deal with Chicago only 10 days before minicamp began. But he quickly learned the team's offense and reportedly played better than Palmer, who was thought to be the favorite to win the No. 2 job.

“No. 1 is how he handled the room. That room is hugely important; the chemistry, the karma, whatever you want to call it,” Trestman said. “In that room, the communication's got to be good. Jimmy's done a very good job, very maturely fit in and taken the place of trying to learn and work to learn the offense. He's grinded at it. He spent long hours here. He's had help from the guys in the room to get him to the place he is today. So we'll see. We're going through the process of working with our roster. I think he'll be one of the guys that we do bring back, and we'll take it one day at a time when we get to training camp.”

For now, Clausen's career lives.

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