It now appears certain that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the 2015 season with a different starting quarterback than the one who was under center at the end of 2014.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers released veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who started 11 of the team's 16 games last season, including the final eight. An unrestricted free agent who signed with Tampa Bay last March after three years with the Chicago Bears – including two under current Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith – McCown was anointed the Buccaneers starter over incumbent Mike Glennon to start the season. Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie in 2013, regained that job in Week Four after McCown suffered a thumb injury at Atlanta on September 18 but the team went back to the veteran passer in Week 10.
McCown's original contract with the Buccaneers was for two seasons, but since it included no signing bonus or any other 2015 bonuses, Wednesday's release will not adversely affect the team's salary cap situation.
In his 11 games with Tampa Bay, McCown completed 184 of 327 passes (56.3%) for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and he also ran 25 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. He joined the Buccaneers after a very strong 2013 campaign in Chicago in which he started five games in place of an injured Jay Cutler and recorded a 109.0 passer rating. In Tampa, McCown was a team captain and a well-respected leader in the locker room. His NFL career also includes stops in Arizona, Detroit, Oakland and Carolina and he has thrown for just over 11,000 yards in 73 games and 49 starts.
The release of McCown leaves the Buccaneers with two quarterbacks on the roster heading into the 2015 offseason, Glennon and recent first-year addition Seth Lobato of Northern Colorado. Tampa Bay also owns the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Glennon, a third-round pick out of North Carolina State in 2013, has started 18 games over his first two seasons with the Buccaneers, compiling an overall passer rating of 83.7. He has completed 364 of 619 passes (58.8%) for 4,025 yards, 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Both he and McCown were at the helm for one of the Buccaneers' two wins in 2014.